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Muslim Brotherhood may nominate Egyptian presidential candidate

Cairo, Sun, 25 Mar 2012 ANI

Cairo, Mar.22 (ANI): Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has said it is considering reversing a year-old pledge not to put forward a presidential candidate from its ranks.

The Brotherhood, whose political wing dominates the newly elected parliament, had announced the policy in part to quell fears of liberal groups that the historic Islamist organization is trying to take control of Egypt after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak's autocratic, but secular government.

But on Wednesday, the Washington Post quoted Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan, as saying that the group's governing body has found none of the hundreds of declared candidates worthy of its support and is weighing the possibility of nominating a Brotherhood member to run in the election, set to begin May 23.

Privately, officials close to the Brotherhood say talks are centering on Khayrat el-Shater, its top financier.

"So far, nobody who fits our criteria has put forth their name," Ghozlan said.

Ghozlan's comments are the clearest indication yet that the Brotherhood will try to take Egypt's top government post.

Members of the group's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, lead the two houses of parliament.

The organization, however, is under intense pressure from younger adherents to back former Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, who is already running for president.

Aboul Fotouh, who was seen as a leader of a more progressive part of the Brotherhood, was ousted for breaking the rules and declaring himself a candidate.

Many young members who joined his campaign were also expelled. (ANI)

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