Egypt's Brotherhood eyes big political role

Group names leaders of new political party which will compete for half of the seats in parliamentary elections.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is seen as Egypt's most organised political force in the post-Mubarak era [Reuters]

    Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood says it will contest half of the seats in the country's parliamentary elections in September, revealing plans to become a major force in the country's post-revolution politics.

    The group named the leaders of its new Freedom and Justice party at a news conference on Saturday. It had previously promised it would not compete for more than 30 per cent of seats.

    "This is not a religious party, not a theocratic party," Mahmoud Mosri, the party's newly named leader, said.

    He described the platform of the Freedom and Justice party as civil but with an Islamic background that adheres to the constitution.

    Brotherhood leaders said that the political party will be separate and independent from the religious group.

    The party's caucus will be open to Muslims, Christians and women, according to a Brotherhood politician, Mohammed Saad el-Katatni.

    Brotherhood members, however, are barred from joining any other party.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is seen as the country's most organised political force after Hosni Mubarak was deposed as president in February.

    The elections will be the first since the popular uprising.

    The Muslim Brotherhood remains Egypt's best organised opposition group despite a campaign by Mubarak's government to suppress it.

    It successfully fielded candidates in previous parliamentary elections as independents.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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