Monday, October 11, 2010

WSJ: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood To Enter Parliament Elections ~ slogan, "Islam Is the Solution."

Leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, center holds a press conference at the group's parliamentary office in Cairo, Egypt Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010.

Doesn't it follow that if you can't question Islam ~ then it can also be used to stop you from questioning anything ~ hence the prevalence of the Islamic dictatorship.

The Muslim Brotherhood's election slogan, "Islam Is the Solution."

You can almost feel another dictatorship in the making ~ at least with the current one there is some element of respect for civil law.

CAIRO (WSJ)--The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most powerful opposition force, said over the weekend that it will enter parliamentary elections next month, ending weeks of speculation as to whether the Islamist group would launch campaigns or join calls for a boycott of the vote.

Mohamed Badie, supreme guide of the Brotherhood, confirmed on Saturday that the group would put candidates on ballots for as many as 30% of the 508 seats up for election in the Nov. 29 vote.

The move is both a challenge to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and a blow to the domestic reform campaign of Mohammed ElBaradei.

Mr. ElBaradei, the former International Atomic Energy Agency chief has, for several weeks, been calling for a blanket opposition boycott of the parliamentary elections. He and the Muslim Brotherhood allied themselves to some extent in the pre-election lead up. The Brotherhood has backed Mr. ElBaradei's calls for electoral reforms and has helped collect signatures for a closely watched petition by Mr. ElBaradei's reform group.

Mr. ElBaradei has said that a mass boycott of both the parliamentary vote and presidential elections scheduled for next autumn would cripple the government's legitimacy in the eyes of the world.

"That will be a message to the regime that it is time to pack your bags and go," Mr. ElBaradei said during an August speech before supporters of his National Association for Change. "The people will have said, 'You don't represent us.' "

Efforts to contact leaders of the NAC for comment Sunday were unsuccessful. Mr. Baradei put out a statement on his official Twitter feed Sunday reaffirming his belief that participation in the elections will only grant legitimacy to the Mubarak government. "We all know elections will be a sham. The question we should ask ourselves is whether to boycott this farce or be a part of it," Mr. Baradei's tweet said.

Brotherhood leaders said the decision to participate in the election came after weeks of difficult internal debate. "The negative of participation is that it does give legitimacy to the regime," said Mohamed Habib, the group's deputy supreme guide, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

But the organization made a strategic decision to fight, Mr. Habib said. The party is banned from forming an official government-licensed political party, so candidate run as nominal independents under the common slogan, "Islam Is the Solution."

In 2005, the movement pulled off a surprisingly strong showing, capturing about a fifth of seats. Mr. Habib said that despite catching the government by surprise in those polls, he isn't expecting an easy race this time around. He predicted the organization would secure "15 seats at most"-- a significant drop from the 88 seats that Brotherhood-backed candidates won in 2005.

Mr. Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party couldn't be reached immediately for comment.

The group's strategy for November's elections, according to Essam el Erian, a member of the Brotherhood's ruling Guidance Council will be to use the campaign as a platform to embarrass the government if necessary.

"Participation is the best way to expose the corruption of the regime," Mr. Erian said. "It will be a big problem if they try to forge the results."

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