Brotherhood spokesperson says Morsy is not a ‘spare tire’

The Muslim Brotherhood’s spokesperson attacked a prominent Salafi political figure Sunday after the latter described Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Morsy as “weak.”

Brotherhood spokesperson Mahmoud Ghozlan said the comments of Abdel Moneim al-Shahat, his counterpart for the Salafi Dawah, ignore Morsy’s reputation as a politician and an academic.

“Morsy was head of the Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc from 2000 to 2005 and he performed well in Parliament,” said Ghozlan in a statement, adding that “Morsy is also a notable academic who taught in the United States and visited many countries, which has enriched his experience.”

Shahat previously contended that Morsy is the weakest contender in the upcoming presidential contest. He called Morsy a “spare” for the group’s primary candidate, Khairat al-Shater, who was excluded from the race last month.

Following his nomination, secular forces have mocked Morsy by calling him a “spare tire.”

“It is unbecoming of Shahat to criticize Morsy,” said Ghazlan. “And the fact that he was a substitute does not mean he is not eligible.”

Ghazlan’s statements coincide with those of Yousry Hammad, spokesperson for Nour Party, which called on the Brotherhood to withdraw its candidate and support Abouel Fotouh since, as Hammad put it, now is the time for unity, not discord.

The Salafi Dawah and its political wing, the Nour Party, said last month that they would endorse moderate Islamist presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, a move that could hurt Morsy’s chances.

Last month, a poll conducted by Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies showed that Amr Moussa is consolidating his position as the favorite for more than 40 percent of Egyptians. Abouel Fotouh came in second with 27.3 percent.

Morsy only received 3.6 percent support in the poll.

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