Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood Becomes Legitimate Party In Egypt

CAIRO - The Egyptian official news agency on Tuesday recognized the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate party for the first time since it was outlawed in 1954, AP reported.

The party was recognized as the "Freedom and Justice Party" and will be allowed to run in the parliamentary elections scheduled for September, the report said.

The party's candidates, running as independents, won 20 percent of the Egyptian vote in the 2005 parliamentary election.

To be recognized as a party under the new rules, the party has announced it will be open to Muslims, Christians and women, AP said.

Previously, a senior member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said he would run for president as an independent. At the time, the Islamist group that said it will not field a candidate.

Secular groups and the West are concerned by how much power the Brotherhood may gain after the first elections since the toppling of president Hosni Mubarak. Decades of authoritarian rule has curbed the development of potential rivals.

Egypt's biggest Islamist movement had sought to assuage fears by saying it would not seek the presidency in polls due by early next year; nor would it pursue a majority in September parliamentary polls, contesting only 50 percent of seats.

But Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh, a reformist leading member of the group, told Reuters:

"I will run as an independent candidate in the coming presidential elections. I am not a member of any party now."
Read More From The Jerusalem Post

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