Leading Salafist political figure Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail criticised what he described as opposition calls for military intervention, saying it would be a “crime” and a coup against constitutionality.
Speaking to Al-Nahar satellite channel on Tuesday, Abu-Ismail threatened that he, along with his supporters, would take to the streets if the military intervened in the political situation. He went on to defend President Mohamed Morsi, saying that despite his opposition to many of the president’s policies, as an elected president he should be given a chance.
Abu-Ismail went on to defend Morsi’s controversial presidential decree from November last year, which made presidential decisions immune to legal appeal, now cancelled after mass demonstrations against the measure.
He argued the decree’s purpose was to respond to opposition demands to change the prosecutor-general, denying the decree was the reason behind the current political crisis.
Abu-Ismail, a former presidential candidate and founding member of the Raya Party, further criticised those claiming that the state is being ‘Brotherhoodized,’ arguing that Muslim Brotherhood members were hired in leading governmental positions to combat corruption.
Opposition figures have frequently accused the presidency and the government of hiring Brotherhood members in many state institutions.
Members of the Salafist Nour Party, which Abu-Ismail said he disagreed with, have also often complained that the Brotherhood were taking over state institutions in a manner that would not allow for free and fair elections in upcoming polls.
The Salafist community has been witnessing disagreements since a faction split from the Nour Party, the largest Salafist party, to form the Watan Party in January.
Abu-Ismail’s newly formed Raya Party had earlier issued a joint statement with the Watan Party saying that the parties were considering allying during elections.