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Sawiris Plans to Return to Egypt Amid Conflicts With Brotherhood

Egyptian Billionaire Naguib Sawiris
Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, poses for a photograph following an interview in London on May 24, 2012. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Naguib Sawiris, the media and telecommunications billionaire, plans to return to serving Egypt and participating in its development, even amid “fundamental” differences with the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, he wrote in the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper today.

Sawiris, who sold his ONTV news television channel to Tunisian businessman Tarak Ben Ammar in December, said he left Egypt “despaired and grieved” when he saw that the goals of the revolution were being stolen and the opposition divided.

He critiqued the government of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood for “taking over the legislative and executive apparatuses of the state, dominating the economy and changing its identity, excluding the opposition, and silencing the media.”

Mursi was elected in June 2012 after the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party won a majority of seats in the 2011 Parliamentary elections.

Sawiris said he welcomed Brotherhood businessman Hassan Malek’s call for Egyptian investors abroad to return to Egypt. Sawiris founded the liberal Free Egyptians Party after the 2011 uprising. It won 15 of 332 seats in the 2011 elections.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nadine Marroushi in Cairo at nmarroushi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Digby Lidstone at dlidstone@bloomberg.net

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