x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Muslim Brotherhood to contest Egyptian elections

Egypt's largest opposition group will contest next month's parliamentary elections, despite calls for a boycott from within its ranks.

CAIRO // The Muslim Brotherhood announced yesterday that it would participate in parliamentary elections next month despite calls for a boycott from within its ranks and by other opposition groups.

Mohammed Badie, the leader of Egypt's largest opposition group, said at a press conference in Cairo yesterday that they would contest about one-third of the 518 available seats in parliament. Mr Badie told reporters that the group would give an exact number of candidates later but it hoped to increase its stake in parliament from the current 20-per-cent level.

Because the group is officially banned, the Brotherhood ran as independents in the last legislative elections five years ago. They stunned the regime by winning 88 seats.

Mr Badie also urged the government to ensure fair balloting. He said that 98 per cent of its members voted for taking part in the elections. However, leaders and young members of the Islamist movement have been urging its leadership to boycott them.

About 15 female Brotherhood candidates will run for women-reserved as well as general seats, Essam el Eryan, one of the group's leaders, told reporters yesterday.

nmagd@thenational.ae

* With additional reporting by the Associated Press