By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, March 15: The Muslim Brotherhood’s spokesman for Libya, Bashir Al-Kibti, has said that the recently formed Justice . . .[restrict]and Construction Party wants to share power if it does well in the June elections for the Constituent Assembly. It does not want to wield it on its own. It hopes to work with “other honest Libyans”, Kibti said.
Speaking in a telephone interview with German news agency DPA from Cairo, Al-Kibti denied that his group had violated its previous resolutions not to form a political party of its own saying: “the establishment of the ‘Justice and Construction Party’, which was announced recently is a national political party with an Islamic orientation and not as claimed, the political arm of the Libyan Brotherhood, because group members who joined the party are individuals representing themselves and not the group.
He added: “the party is totally independent from the group, independent in its decision making, political positions, independent with its administration and organization, and has many members who are not part of the Muslim Brotherhood”.
Kibti has also denied any desire of the Muslim Brotherhood to achieve power through any specific party, He said there were significant differences of opinion between Muslims which prevented the existence of a united single party, such as those between the Brotherhood and the Libyan Islamic Reform Movement, formerly known as the ‘Fighting Party’.
“Our comrades in the Fighting Party have made a major shift from the stage of Jihad and the armed struggle to a political approach, but the Muslim Brotherhood have been working in politics for a long time,” he said.
He continued: “We preferred to coordinate our positions with them only for the time being until many issues between us become clear. The Justice and Construction Party is free to coordinate, if it wishes so, with any party or political group, but we will focus as a group on ‘Dawa’ work.”
The aim of the Muslim Brotherhood, he said, “was not have access to power but rather to make sure only those suitable get chosen for it, be it from our group or any other.”
He added: “If we wanted to have control of power alone, we would have established a party of our own for which we have many suitable candidates and wide geographical spread.
However, since there was no conflict on holding Islamic Sharia Law as a main reference of the constitution and for any future legislation, we opted to jointly share a party with others which is open to all Libyan people.”
In Tunisia, the Ennahda party which is the political face of the Brotherhood in the country, opted to share power with other parties following last October’s elections.
In his interview, Kibti also denied claims that his group had received support from Qatar or the United States.