Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood member Essam al-Erian resigned from his presidential advisory post on Sunday, saying he cannot hold a legislative and an executive job at the same time.
President Mohamed Mursi’s office accepted Erian’s resignation, as the latter currently heads the Freedom and Justice Party’s parliamentary bloc in the Shura council, the country’s upper house of parliament.
This position, Erian said, “would constitute a conflict of interest, according to the new constitution,” reported Egypt Independent.
In addition to being Mursi’s advisor, Erian is also the vice president of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, which backed Mursi during the country’s first democratic presidential elections in 2012.
Erian became a center of controversy when he said during an interview with the local Dream TV network on Thursday: “It is better for Jews to live in a country like Egypt rather than in a country contaminated by occupation.”
He said Jews should return to Egypt to “make way for the Palestinian people,” adding: “Every Egyptian has the right to come back to Egypt, no matter what his religion. Egyptian Jews should refuse to live under a brutal, bloody and racist occupation stained with war crimes against humanity.”
Erian’s remarks prompted a fierce response from the many opponents and allies of the Brotherhood.
Mursi’s office later disassociated the president from Erian’s comments, saying they reflect the latter’s personal stance.