Thu, Feb 17, 2011 - Page 6 News List

FALLOUT FROM NORTH AFRICA: Brotherhood ‘won’t seek’ parliamentary majority

AFP, CAIRO

Senior leaders of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said yesterday that the movement would not seek a majority in parliament when elections are held later this year.

The outlawed opposition group, which says it wants to build an Islamic state through peaceful means, was seen as the government’s most powerful foe until a popular revolt forced Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to resign last Friday.

“We do not aspire for a majority in the upcoming parliament, and this is a message to all political parties,” said Essam al-Erian, a member of the group’s politburo. “This is not the time for competition.”

Mahmud Ezzat, the Brotherhood’s second-in-command, said the group would not contest every parliamentary seat in an election set to take place later this year before the military hands power to a civilian government.

“We will not try,” he said, when asked if the group would run candidates for each and every seat.

The group had previously said it would not field a candidate in the subsequent presidential election.

The group have contested about 30 percent of parliamentary seats in past elections, which were rigged to favor the ruling National Democratic Party.

The Brotherhood has a representative on the eight-member panel appointed by the military to revise the Constitution ahead of the elections.

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