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Egypt military council defends its integrity

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Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, headed by Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, has defended its integrity in the wake of doubts expressed by the country's Muslim Brotherhood.

In a statement read out by Egyptian state television on Sunday, the SCAF expressed "grave resentment" toward charges by the leading Islamist group that cast doubts upon "the performance and the patriotism of the government, the independence of the supreme constitutional court and influence on the neutrality of its verdicts".

The statement said all such charges "are lies and biased accusations".

It also said that SCAF "spared no effort in protecting the revolution, adopting its demands and maintained its process and the state stability in difficult times".

'Warning'

It urged the Muslim Brotherhood to "understand history lessons" in a veiled reference to the group's clash with late President Gamal Abdel Nasser shortly after the 1952 revolution.

The Muslim Brotherhood, whose political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party won a crushing victory in parliamentary elections, had issued a statement accusing the government of stalling reforms. It said the government's performance had been the "biggest failure", pointing to unrest, judicial interference, stalling of reforms, fuel shortages and dwindling foreign reserves.

In a statement posted on its website on Sunday, the Freedom and Justice Party said the presidential elections due in May could be rigged to benefit a "certain candidate" it did not identify. It added that the party is studying proposals to field its own candidate, reversing an earlier decision not to do so.

"Keeping this government as we approach presidential elections... which raises suspicions over the fairness of these elections, as well as the general decline of affairs, are things we cannot remain silent or patient over," the statement from the military council said.

"If anyone intends to recreate the former corrupt regime with new faces, the people are willing to move in order to revive their revolution and protect their ship from sinking at the hands of people with no sense of responsibility."


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