Monday, 2 April 2012

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood names presidency candidate

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has nominated its deputy chairman, Khairat al-Shatir, as its candidate for the presidential elections in May. The announcement reverses a pledge made by the group earlier not to contest the election.

This development is likely to cause concern among certain factions as well as the army that the MB might monopolise power. According to BBC correspondents, the group's relations with the army have already deteriorated.

Speculation has been rife whether or not the group would back a candidate following its party's legislative election success in November. MB's political arm then won around a third of the vote, and nearly half the seats in the first parliamentary election since the fall of Hosni Mubarak last year.

Speaking about the decision the group's deputy leader said it had resolved to field a candidate following "attempts to abort the revolution". There are only several days left before the close of nominations.

Al-Shatir spent 12 years behind bars due to his association with the MB, but managed to upkeep a multimillion-dollar business empire and his dedication to political Islam. Since his release last year, al-Shatir's influence has only increased to rival that of MB's general guide.

The MB released a statement saying it had reversed its decision not to contest the presidency to overcome risks to Egypt's revolution and the transfer from military to civilian rule.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, Bloomberg

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

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