Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood holds first open vote

Brotherhood was banned in 1954 after it was accused of using violent tactics against opponents.

Cairo: Egypt’s opposition Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s most organized political group, has held its first open internal election since the ouster of the country’s President Hosni Mubarak.

Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie hailed Saturday’s vote that chose three new members to the group’s 17-member executive board to replace those who joined the leadership of the group’s newly launched Freedom and Justice Party.

“The open and transparent elections show the world that the Brotherhood works in the open, to restore Egypt’s freedom and standing,” The Washington Post quoted Badie, as saying.

He also said that the vote was one of the ‘fruits’ of the Egypt’s uprising.

The Brotherhood showcased their internal democratic practices, in the event where over 100 members of the group’s policy-making body cast ballots in transparent boxes, the paper said.

“This is a sign that the group respects democracy. Egypt has undoubtedly changed a lot,” said spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan said.

Formed in 1928, the Brotherhood was banned in 1954 after it was accused of using violent tactics against opponents.

Despite the crackdown in the past, the group was able to field candidates in parliamentary elections as independents and proved to be the most organized political force during Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

ANI