Muslim Brotherhood Runs Millionaire for Egypt Presidency

Candidate reverses promise not to participate in presidency
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2012 7:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Muslim Brotherhood had insisted it would not run a candidate in Egypt's presidential elections, but growing conflicts with military rulers have spurred the Brotherhood to reverse course and nominate a candidate, reports al-Jazeera. The move is expected not only to increase tensions with the military, but also with liberal and secular groups worried about the Brotherhood's growing power, as the party controls nearly half of Egypt's young parliament.

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Nominating a candidate also divided the Brotherhood, as many of the group's leaders were against the move. But with other Islamist parties—one progressive, one ultra-conservative—preparing to run candidates, the Brotherhood's leadership was worried about losing supporters. The Muslim Brotherhood candidate is multi-millionaire Khairat al-Shater, one of group's chief backers and a man who has gone to prison four times for his Brotherhood connections. Despite the Brotherhood's popularity, however, it is unclear how much support al-Shater has, as several well-known candidates are also expected to run. (Read more Muslim Brotherhood stories.)

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