By Mick Krever, CNN
Egypt must reconcile and stamp out violence, Former Egyptian Finance Minister Samir Radwan told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday, while putting the onus for that reconciliation on the once-again-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
“The first challenge is the political stability of the country,” he said. “This is a very daunting task because certainly the Muslim Brotherhood, who lost the power, are not willing to come to terms with that loss. And they continue to raise a big fight, using – resorting to violence.”
The man who spearheaded the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsy was the very leader Morsy had appointed to lead the military: Field Marshall Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
El-Sisi has now resigned from the military and declared his candidacy for president; elections are set for May 26.
He was pictured on Monday riding around Cairo on a bicycle, having traded his uniform for a more populist track suit.
“He has opened the door for an inclusive society,” Radwan said.
Many, of course, disagree with that statement – chiefly members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Last week, in one fell swoop, an Egyptian court sentenced 528 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death on charges related to violent riots last August.
At the time, Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institution described the move to Amanpour as the “largest mass death sentence in modern Egyptian history.”
“Certainly no Egyptian would wish to see that this is the type of Egypt that they would like to live in,” Radwan said. “But I think it should be put in context.”
Last week, in an interview with Amanpour, the chairman of Egypt’s State Information Service, Salah Abdel Sadek, also urged that the sentence be put “in perspective.”
“There is a very widespread violence, which is threatening the livelihood, the nature of the country,” Radwan said. “Egypt was one of the most peaceful countries you know. And now violence is the name of the game.”
“We must find a way out. There are different experiences in the world like in Ireland, like in South Africa of Mandela, like Spain after the civil war. There are hundreds of experiences we can benefit from.”
Some members of the Muslim Brotherhood have showed willingness to “go one or two steps backward” to reach a settlement, Radwan allowed.
But “the Muslim Brotherhood should really take the initiative – as the white minority in South Africa took the initiative, and started by repenting what they did under apartheid.”
Amanpour quickly struck down his analogy.
“I fully appreciate what you're saying,” she said, “but I'm afraid the last word has to be that the whites in South Africa were not declared illegal. Therefore, there was a reconciliation process. Unfortunately, for your idea, the Muslim Brotherhood has now been declared an outlaw organization.”