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The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) opposition movement plans to field at least 150 candidates in upcoming parliamentary elections--the same number fielded by the group in 2005 elections--according to MB spokesman Hamdi Hassan.
Hassan made the announcement at the MB's annual Ramadan banquet, held at a branch of the Egyptian Doctors Syndicate in the city of Talkha, amid a heavy security presence. The banquet was attended by representatives of secular opposition parties and other political forces as well as leading MB members.
“The MB doesn't represent the people,” Abdel Rahman al-Barr, member of the MB Guidance Bureau, said at the event. “It's part of the people.”
He went on to assert that the group would never forfeit its project of political reform, regardless of the obstacles it faced.
“Islam knows no such thing as a religious state,” al-Barr stressed. “What we're talking about is a civil state based on religious references."
According to Hassan, the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) of President Hosni Mubarak plans to rig upcoming parliamentary elections--slated for later this year--just as it did recent Shura Council and local municipality elections. “Together with the opposition parties, we demand guarantees for fair elections this time," he said.
For his part, Abul Ela Mady, representative of the Wasat Party (still awaiting license), said both the NDP and MB constituted "dangers" to the nation.
“The MB is fighting our party more than it fights the regime itself,” he said on Sunday, noting that the MB had prevented a colleague of his from delivering a speech at a conference in Mansoura last month.
Mady went on to criticize the law governing the formation of political parties, which, he said, lacked clear and objective criteria for the establishment of new political parties. “The committee that approves or disapproves new party applications is comprised entirely of NDP members,” he said.
“While Egypt has 24 legal political parties, many of which I've never even heard of, the Wasat Party has been denied a license four times over the course of 14 years,” Mady said.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.