Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mahdi Akef admitted the group has lost a great deal of its popularity between parliamentary and presidential elections.
“The Muslim Brotherhood got 10 million votes in parliamentary elections, but got only five million in presidential elections,” he told Al Arabiya’s Special Interview.
Akef attributed this drop in popularity to the way Muslim Brotherhood members presented themselves in the media.
“There is a difference between a group defending itself against accusations and one that plans to lead the country. This applied to both the Brotherhood and its political wing the Freedom and Justice Party.”
The Brotherhood, Akef added, was not capable of realizing the effect of media has on people, especially leading media outlets.
“Many of those outlets are not objective.”
When asked about his earlier statement about not wanting to see a shift in power from the Islamists to other political factions, Akef said he meant that the country is going through a very tough stage and the criteria of success and failure in the beginning will not be definitive.
“If an Islamist takes charge at this stage and he does well, he will get the credit, but if he fails, all Islamists will be blamed for not being able to run the country.”
Akef denied that Egyptian Christians are apprehensive about Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi wining presidential elections in the run-off.
“Neither Copts nor any other Egyptians are afraid of Mursi or the Brotherhood. Of course, they are free to vote for whoever they want but we will give them all the guarantees that we only want what’s best for Egypt.”
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)