Egypt's Brotherhood says didn't name acting leader

A senior member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said Monday that the Islamist movement had not selected an acting supreme guide, while its current supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, remains detained pending several trials

A senior member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said Monday that the Islamist movement had not selected an acting supreme guide, while its current supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, remains detained pending several trials

CAIRO – A senior member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said Monday that the Islamist movement had not selected an acting supreme guide, while its current supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, remains detained pending several trials.

"The Muslim Brotherhood's Shura Council [the group's highest advisory body] has not convened for a long time in light of current conditions in Egypt and the arrest of scores of its members," Gamal Heshmat, a senior Shura Council member, told Anadolu Agency by phone from Turkey.

He denied earlier media reports that Mohamed Taha Wahdan, a member of the supreme guide's office, had been named acting supreme guide of the movement.

"This isn't the case at all," said Heshmat.

Egyptian daily Al-Shorouk on Monday quoted an unnamed Brotherhood source as saying that the Brotherhood's Shura Council had selected Wahdan to serve as the group's new supreme guide.  

Several Shura Council sources, however, said the council had not met since the violent dispersal last summer of a sit-in staged by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, in which hundreds of demonstrators were killed.

Council sources, who asked not to be named, said Badie's deputy, the London-based Gomaa Amin, had been serving as acting supreme guide since June (even before Morsi's July 3 ouster).

Badie was elected supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood on January 16, 2010. Amin was reportedly asked to serve as acting supreme guide if Badie was unable to perform his duties.

Badie was arrested in August of last year and currently faces an array of criminal charges, including incitement to violence.

Since the ouster of Morsi, a brotherhood leader himself, the Egyptian authorities have launched a harsh crackdown on political dissent, putting thousands of opponents – including most Brotherhood leaders – in jail.

Hundreds of Morsi backers were killed and thousands injured in August of last year, when security forces violently dispersed two major pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo and Giza.

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