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Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement accepts that President Hosni Mubarak staying in power is a “safer option” to secure the implementation of constitutional reforms.

“We wanted the president to step down but, for now, we accept this arrangement as long as we feel there is a serious implementation,” Mohamed Saad El-Katatni, a senior leader of the group, said after a meeting between Vice President Omar Suleiman and leaders of some opposition groups.

“It’s safer that the president stays until he makes these amendments to speed things up because of the constitutional powers he holds,” he said in Cairo today.

The Muslim Brotherhood waited a few days after anti- government protesters gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Jan. 25 before publicly supporting the movement, saying it shared their goals. They include an end to Mubarak’s 30-year rule, a new constitution, open elections and a new all-party government. The group, which is officially banned from running in elections, agreed to meet with Suleiman after Mubarak’s Feb. 1 announcement that he won’t seek another presidential term.

Thousands of protesters continued to rally in Tahrir Square, many of them calling for Mubarak’s immediate resignation. “We all insist that there is no alternative to Mubarak stepping down,” Ahmed Maher, one of the representatives of the youth gathering in Tahrir Square, said. “All those meeting with the regime do not represent us and they cannot move the people. We will carry on” with the protests. Bloomberg

Photo: A general view of Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, center back, meeting with leaders of Egyptian parties and the Muslim brotherhood leadership in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011.

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