Egypt’s Muslim Brothers aim to form political party | Pakistan Today

Egypt’s Muslim Brothers aim to form political party

CAIRO – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood on Tuesday said it will form a political party in the wake of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak’s regime, which banned but broadly tolerated the Islamist opposition group.
“The Muslim Brotherhood believes in the freedom to form parties and is therefore determined to have its own political party,” Mohammed Mursi, a member of the group’s political bureau, said in a statement. “All that prevented the group from achieving this demand was the law on parties, which essentially prevented the establishment of any parties without the agreement of (Mubarak’s) National Democratic Party,” he added.
The country’s most powerful organised opposition group ran candidates as independents under the slogan “Islam is the solution” in 2005 parliamentary elections, winning around 20 percent of seats in the legislative body. But it boycotted the second round of legislative elections last year after failing to win a single seat in the first round amid widespread allegations of violence and vote-rigging on behalf of the ruling party.
The Brotherhood belatedly joined the massive nationwide protests that led to the fall of Mubarak but has said it will not compete in presidential elections to replace him and has called for democratic reforms. The group has been the subject of concern in the West and among some of its secular rivals, who fear it may come to power through free elections only to then implement Islamic law in the most populous Arab country.
The Brotherhood has adamantly rejected such a scenario, insisting it supports the broader demands of the pro-democracy protesters who brought Mubarak down and are seeking a more open multi-party system. The group has been officially banned since the 1950s but it counts hundreds of thousands of members and operates a vast network of social and religious outreach programmes across Egypt.
The military commanders who assumed power when Mubarak resigned last Friday have vowed to rewrite the constitution and hold democratic elections within six months in order to return power to a civilian government.

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