Jama’a al-Islamiya urges Morsi to call for referendum on early elections

Jama’a al-Islamiya, one of the most important allies of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood group, called on President Mohamed Morsi Tuesday to issue a call for a referendum for early elections, a few hours before a military ultimatum for Morsi to resign expires.

Leader of Jama’a al-Islamiya’s political arm the Building and Development Party, Alaa Aboul Nasr, told Mada Masr that Jama’a al-Islamiya is keen on presenting political solutions to end the political deadlock.

“We still support the legitimacy of the president and want him to stay in office, but we are also working on presenting political solutions in coordination with other political forces,” he said.

The decision comes after Morsi addressed the nation on Monday, insisting on upholding constitutional legitimacy and urging opposition forces to heed calls of dialogue. He also offered forming a new government, as well as a committee to look into the disputed articles of the constitution passed last December.

The speech provoked opposition protesters and violent clashes between pro- and anti- Morsi protesters and residents broke out in many governorates across Egypt, leaving dozens injured and killed.

The Jama’a al-Islamiya’s decision is viewed as a breakthrough, especially given its strong support for the ruling Islamist regime. They were allegedly involved in violence against anti-Morsi protesters in Upper Egyptian governorates on June 30 during mass demonstrations.

Jama’a al-Islamiya leader Tarek Al-Zomor told Reuters that “we want to end the bloodshed and prevent a military coup at the same time. If the president calls on a referendum it will be according to the constitution not according to the will of the military.”