Egypt''s banned Muslim Brotherhood seeks political party status


Cairo, Feb 15 (PTI) Egypt''s long banned MuslimBrotherhood today said it will form a political party withIslamic values once democracy is ushered in the Arab nation.

"The Muslim Brotherhood group believes in the freedomof the formation of political parties. They are eager to havea political party," spokesman Mohammed Mursi said in astatement on the Brotherhood website.

The Brotherhood "envisions the establishment of ademocratic, civil state that draws on universal measures offreedom and justice, with central Islamic values serving allEgyptians regardless of colour, creed, political trend orreligion," it said in the statement, four days after PresidentHosni Mubarak, their tormentor, was ousted.

Although officially illegal, the Muslim Brotherhood isregarded as one of the most organised opposition groups inEgypt.

It has said it does not plan to run a candidate forpresident when elections are held to replace Hosni Mubarak,who resigned on Friday after an uprising against him.

A former lawmaker of the Brotherhood has also beenincluded in an eight-member panel formed by the Egyptianmilitary to study and suggest amendments to the Mubarak-eraconstitution.

The Muslim Brotherhood, banned since 1954, could notform a party but fielded candidates for parliament asindependents.

In 2005, it made a strong showing, winning 20 per centof seats in the Egyptian parliament. But it was marginalisedin the most recent election in November and December, plaguedby fraud, allegedly by Mubarak''s National Democratic Party.

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