Egypt’s Brotherhood election chances slimmer

Egypt’s Brotherhood election chances slimmer

Egypt’s Brotherhood election chances slimmer
Court reject Muslim Brotherhood candidates’ request for certificates of good conduct during their time in detention.
CAIRO – A Cairo court issued a ruling Tuesday that could minimise the chances that several leading figures in the Muslim Brotherhood will be able to run in next month’s parliamentary elections.

Five former political detainees from the group had filed a case against the interior ministry for turning down their requests for certificates of "good conduct" during their time in detention. The court rejected their case.

The five had planned to run for parliament, and officials registering candidates demanded that they first bring the certificates.

Egyptian law bars individuals convicted in criminal cases from running in elections, but the ban does not apply to political detainees.

Normally, officials demand that they simply present a certificate of "good conduct." The authorities have also allowed some former detainees to run without having to bring the certificate.

The court’s ruling could theoretically prevent several leading members of the banned-but-tolerated group from contesting the parliamentary elections, as many of them have spent time in jail over the past few years.

The group, which is the best organised political force of opposition to the ruling National Democratic Party, plans to field at least 150 candidates in the November elections.

It has said it hoped to raise its seat tally from 17 to around 50 out of the parliament’s 454.