The Muslim Brotherhood announced last week that they would run a candidate for president after all> The radical Islamist group previously promised to not field a candidate in the presidential elections.
Today the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat al-Shater told reporters that Sharia law would be his “first and final” objective as president.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for the Egyptian presidency, Khairat al-Shater, declared that introducing sharia law would be his “first and final” objective if he wins elections in May and June.
Making his first reported statements since the Brotherhood’s surprise decision to field him in the elections, Shater also promised to reform the Interior Ministry which long played a leading role in suppressing dissent.
However, he denied he had struck a deal with the military on his candidacy, announced last Saturday, even though it may help candidates close to the old order of ousted President Hosni Mubarak by splintering the Islamist vote.
“Sharia was and will always be my first and final project and objective,” Shater was quoted on Wednesday as telling a meeting of the Religious Association for Rights and Reform – a group of which he is a member, along with figures who belong to the hard-line Salafi school of Islam.
In comments reported in a statement issued by the Association, Shater told the meeting held on Tuesday night that he would establish a special entity to help parliament achieve this objective.
The Brotherhood’s reversal of its promise not to contest the elections has drawn criticism from inside and outside the group, whose party controls the biggest bloc in parliament and which dominates an assembly that is drawing up the constitution.
Shater called for reform of Interior Ministry to curb its “involvement in all aspects of the state”.
The 61-year-old millionaire businessman is set to present his candidacy documents on Thursday. He is viewed as a front-runners because of the Brotherhood’s organisational clout and grassroots network.