Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt holds first election


EGYPT’S MUSLIM Brotherhood has held its first election in the movement’s 83-year history, selecting three figures at the weekend to fill seats on its governing guidance bureau.

The seats were vacated by officials who have taken posts in the movement’s Freedom of Justice party.

Supreme guide Muhammad Badie declared that the balloting “symbolises the political freedom Egypt enjoys thanks to the January 25th revolution” which has “restored Egypt’s dignity”. Participating in the vote were 106 of the movement’s 132-member Shura (Consultative) Council.

The brotherhood, a movement that runs clinics and welfare organisations, was partially repressed and tolerated to some extent during the regime headed by ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

Nevertheless it retained the support of millions of Egypt’s conservative Muslims, winning 20 per cent of seats in the parliamentary election of 2005.

The brotherhood’s aim in holding a public internal election was to demonstrate that the movement and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice party, are dedicated to democracy ahead of the coming assembly election, scheduled for November.