“Patriotic” Sisi must rely on democracy, Jama’a al-Islamiya figure says

Jama'a al-Islamiya Shura Council member Abboud al-Zomor has praised General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for his patriotism, adding that ousted President Mohamed Morsy was "not the right man for the stage" by the time he was overthrown in an army-sponsored takeover.

Zomor said patriotism means putting the interest of your country above one's personal interests and above those of one's group.

In an interview with Al-Nahar satellite channel on Wednesday, Zomor said: "[Defense Minister] Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is a patriotic man and he assesses [the] current crisis from a political perspective. He made the correct decisions to overcome the crisis by ousting [former President] Mohamed Morsy, but he has to reconsider the repercussions of that decision."

Zomor said that Sisi had made efforts but that the defense minister and army chief should have resorted to democratic means, rather than relying on popular demonstrations following June 30. 

Protests are not the proper mechanism for a working democracy, Zomor claimed.

He also said that Islamist groups had reservations about Morsy's performance as president, saying he was "not the right man for the stage" and adding that he did not take into account the majority who rejected his rule or listen to his opposition.

Islamist groups took part in sit-ins in Rabaa al-Adaweya and Giza's al-Nahda Square not demanding Morsy's reinstatement as was commonly reported, but to defend democratic legitimacy, the Jama'a al-Islamiya figure claimed.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Jama’a al-Islamiya warned that the current interim period must focus on transitional justice. It pointed to three legal proceedings that took place in the last 48 hours that could threaten public security.

The first proceeding, according to the statement, concerns the referral of Morsy to criminal court on charges of killing protesters near the Ettehadiya presidential palace last December, when Morsy supporters attacked a sit-in held by his opponents. Demonstrators died and many more were injured in the violence.