Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam El-Erian announced Saturday his intention to resign from his official positions within the presidency and the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), only to reverse his decision hours later.
El-Erian requested the presidency relieve him of his position as presidential adviser and for new FJP Chairman Saad El-Katatny to not keep him on as deputy chairman or to appoint him party secretary general.
“I have asked that the president take the decision to relieve me of my duties on the advisory board and for the party to elect a new deputy chairman and secretary general in continuation of our journey. God is with me and will guide me,” he tweeted on Saturday night.
On Friday El-Erian lost elections for the leadership of the FJP to former People’s Assembly speaker and party secretary general Saad El-Katatny. El-Erian has been acting chairman of the party since its former chairman, Mohamed Morsy, was elected president of Egypt.
Following his loss, he said he would resign from his role as deputy chairman but keep his other positions within the Brotherhood and the party.
“I will stay in the party’s supreme committee so we can together achieve victory in parliamentary and local elections and will stay a member of the Brotherhood’s Shura Council until we free the nation and reform governance using the rulings of Islamic Shari’a,” he tweeted.
However El-Katatny said in a Facebook post he was committed to keeping El-Erian as deputy chairman, calling him a “brother” and expressing hope that El-Erian would stay on so they would “continue to develop the party they built together.”
Following El-Katatny’s statement, El-Erian deleted the tweet which had implied his resignation. On Sunday morning he tweeted that he continues to perform his role as deputy chairman.
“I performed my duties today at the party’s administrative headquarters in the absence of Dr El-Katatny whom God has blessed with performing pilgrimage. I signed the employees’ cheques and tasked the media committee with dealing with the Dream affair,” he tweeted Sunday.
El-Erian gave his statement at the prosecutor general’s office on Sunday afternoon regarding the complaint filed against him by Jihan Fadel, host of a television show on the Dream TV channel.
El-Erian told Fadel on air “I dare not ask how much you get paid to say this.” She responded by reporting him to the authorities for defamation, with the statement being seen as an accusation of taking bribes from abroad.
He told the prosecution that he was only talking about Fadel’s salary from the channel and that he did not intend to accuse her of being a foreign agent.
His defence asked for adjournment of the investigation until he could view the complaint filed against him and the case file.
He later denied the statements after Mahmoud sent an official letter to the presidency requesting information on El-Erian’s official position there and whether he has the ability to record phone calls.
Muslim Brotherhood lawyer Abdel Moniem Abdel Maqsoud and FJP media adviser Ahmed Sabea both said El-Erian resigned from his position in the presidential advisory board to prevent any “embarrassment” to President Morsy.