Egypt Detains 13 Muslim Brotherhood Members

Egypt Monday detained 13 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a security source said, in a continued clampdown which the group says is aimed at preventing members from running in municipal elections.

Egypt Detains 13 Muslim Brotherhood Members
"Security forces have arrested 13 members of the group including teachers, accountants and students while they were holding a meeting in the (southern Egyptian) city of Sohag," the source said.

The meeting was to prepare for the April 2008 municipal elections, the source said.

The Muslim Brotherhood is officially banned in Egypt, but it holds more than a fifth of seats in Egypt's parliament though its representatives sit as independents because of its illegal status.

Traditionally controlled by the ruling National Democratic Party, the municipal polls are now expected to draw fierce competition after a constitutional amendment was passed in 2005. The amendment requires independent presidential candidates to also secure the backing of municipal council members.

It stipulates candidates who don't belong to an official party must gather signatures from 250 elected officials, including 65 from parliament's lower house, 25 from the upper house and from 10 municipal council members.

Monday's arrests are "a sign that this regime fears a repetition of the success enjoyed (by the Brotherhood) in the last parliamentary elections," the group's deputy supreme guide, Mohammed Habib, said on its Web site. The next municipal council elections are to be held in April after a two-year postponement that drew fierce objections from opposition members.

"They cannot postpone the elections again, so the regime will use its security arm to arrest Muslim Brotherhood members to prevent them from participating in political life," Habib said.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Aralık 2007, 11:24