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      Muslim Brotherhood Hoping for Half of Egyptian Parliament

      The Muslim Brotherhood has formed a new political party and is campaigning to win up to half of the seats in the Egyptian parliament in September.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 5/1/2011, 2:24 PM / Last Update: 5/1/2011, 2:30 PM

      The Muslim Brotherhood is hoping to win half of the seats in Egypt's parliament when elections are held in the country this September.

      The once-outlawed group announced at a news conference Saturday that its Shura (Consultative Council) decided to run for up to 50 percent of the seats. The group will form its own Freedom and Justice Party, said secretary-general Mohammed Hussen, to be headed by Mohammed al-Mursi.

      Al-Muris, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's political bureau, told reporters he expects women and Coptic Christians to join the party as well. “It is not an Islamist party in the old understanding,” he said. “It is not theocratic.”

      Parties based on religion, class and regionalism are banned by the Egyptian Constitution.

      The Islamist group appears to be the most organized political force in Egypt following the revolution that toppled the 31-year reign of former President Hosni Mubarak in February. However, the group said it would not nominate a candidate for the presidency in the current election.