Despite promise not to, Muslim Brotherhood to field presidential candidate

They promised that they would only run candidates for parliament in a third of the districts. They ran in more than half. They promised a panel to write the constitution that would reflect all political views. They named more than 70% Islamists.

And they promised not to run a candidate in the presidential election. Is anyone surprised that the Muslim Brotherhood let this promise go by the wayside?


Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, in a policy U-turn, on Saturday named its deputy leader and businessman Khairat al-Shater as its presidential candidate for a vote in May after initially pledging it would not run for the nation's top job.

"We have therefore chosen the path of the presidency not because we are greedy for power but because we have a majority in parliament which is unable to fulfill its duties in parliament," he said announcing the decision to put forward Shater.

The Brotherhood said it changed tack after reviewing other candidates in the race and after parliament, where its Freedom and Justice Party controls the biggest bloc, was unable to meet "the demands of the revolution", a reference to its mounting criticism of the ruling army's handling of the transition.

Given the Brotherhood's strong showing in the parliamentary election and its broad grass-roots network, the group's backing for a candidate could prove a decisive factor. Although analysts say name recognition may also play a role in this race that could help others such as former Arab League chief Amr Moussa.

Analysts said the move suggested the Brotherhood, on the brink of power for the first time in its 84-year history, was worried it could have that power snatched away after decades of repression at the hands Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted last year.

"We have witnessed obstacles standing in the way of parliament to take decisions to achieve the demands of the revolution," said Mohamed Morsy, head of the Freedom and Justice Party.

Now, the corrupt, repressive, authoritarian military is the only thing standing between the Egyptian people and the darkness.

Some choice, huh?

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