Egypt's Brotherhood to run Shura seats 'with low hope'

Brotherhood controls a fifth of seats in the lower house of parliament, the biggest opposition bloc by far.

Egypt's Brotherhood to run Shura seats 'with low hope'

The Muslim Brotherhood said on Wednesday it would run for 20 percent of seats available in a June election for Egypt's upper house of parliament, but said they have low expectations of winning any.

Half of the upper house or Shura council's 176 electable seats will be contested. The "banned" Brotherhood ran in the 2008 Shura vote and won no seats. President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party secured almost every seat with one seat going to the leftist opposition Tagammu party.

Brotherhood controls a fifth of seats in the lower house of parliament, the biggest opposition bloc by far.

It won those seats in a 2005 race running as independents, but has since been squeezed out of every subsequent election including for local councils.

"It is our duty to pursue active community participation," Mohamed Saad Katatni, head the Brotherhood's parliament bloc, told Reuters, adding that the group would contest a fifth of the Shura seats available.

But other Brotherhood members doubted the possibility of securing seats, blaming government-backed vote rigging.

"In this political climate neither the Brotherhood nor anyone else will see fair elections because of the state's addiction to vote rigging," senior Brotherhood member Gamal Heshmat said.

Brotherhood members are regularly rounded up in security sweeps ahead of elections. So far about 450 members have been detained, Heshmat said, but added this would not deter the group from seeking to secure seats.

"The Brotherhood has no problems in terms of numbers. It can offer more leaders than those detained and with similar if not more capacities," Heshmat said.

Government officials say elections in Egypt are fair but rights groups cite widespread violations whenever Egyptians go to the ballot box.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Mart 2010, 15:45

SeydiAli

YORUM EKLE