The Muslim Brotherhood is seeking to increase its representation in the Egyptian parliament by succeeding in the three-stage legislative elections which will begin on Wednesday.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an outlawed but tolerated movement in Egypt. While its main platform is to impose Islamic law on the country, it is also trying to present itself as a more moderate force which supports democratic reform.

The movement is fielding 160 candidates who will run as independents in the race for 454 seats.

This is almost double the number of candidates it fielded in the previous parliamentary elections in 2000.

In those elections, the Muslim Brotherhood gained 17 seats, becoming the strongest opposition faction.

Among the movement’s candidates is Makarem Eldery, a 55-year-old woman.

“The government is letting them play their game,” Amr Hamzawy, senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told The Media Line.

Hamzawy said the movement is not challenging the stronghold of the ruling National Democratic Party in urban and rural areas. But he said he suspects “they will manage to double their representation in the people’s assembly.” Hamzawy said he does not see them dominating the assembly, both because the government will not allow it, and because they do not have enough support on the street.


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