Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest Islamic group, today announced that it will not enter a candidate in the presidential election but will contend for as many as half of the seats in parliament.
The group earlier said it would contend for only one-third of parliament’s 508 seats.
Mahmoud Mosri, head of the group’s newly formed Freedom and Justice party, told reporters today that they are open to Muslim, Christian, and women candidates because, as he said, it is “not a religious party, not a theocratic party.”
The Muslim Brotherhood is seen as one of the best-organized political parties in Egypt and its dominance has raised fears that political Islam will become a powerful force in Egyptian politics.
The formerly banned group is also believed to have played a leading role in the toppling of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in February.
Egypt’s parliamentary elections are scheduled for September.
(www.rferl.org / 02.05.2011)