At a news conference on Oct. 9, the Brotherhood, with 88 seats,
rejected calls that the Islamic opposition boycott parliamentary
elections amid the crackdown by the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.
Hundreds of Brotherhood operatives, including senior members, have been
arrested over the last year as part of a regime effort to block any
"The Muslim Brotherhood is a large group, and if we wanted to compete
for the biggest number of seats we could have," Brotherhood parliamentary
whip Mohammed Katatni said. "But we see that the regime opposes the
Brotherhood, and this causes political uncertainty, which we want to avoid
in the forthcoming period."
Western allies of Egypt have offered to help monitor parliamentary
elections. The United States has called for a team of Egyptian and
international observers as well as the suspension of emergency law.
Badie said the Brotherhood would announce a final list of candidates,
which would include up to 15 women, over the next few weeks. He acknowledged
that the Brotherhood had debated whether to participate in parliamentary
elections amid the regime crackdown. The movement's chief slogan, he said,
would be "Islam is the solution."
"We call on the ruling regime to show the maximum degree of
responsibility in administering the election process and to realize that any
mistakes that ruin these parliamentary elections will overshadow every
future election," Badie said.
The Brotherhood decision came despite a call by another leading
opposition figure to boycott the elections. Former International Atomic
Agency director-general Mohammed El Baradei, regarded as the leading secular
rival to Mubarak, said the prospects of free elections were more dismal
today than in 2005.
"We are participating for Egypt's sake," Brotherhood spokesman Issam