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Egypt keeping ban on Muslim Brotherhood despite electoral gains

[JURIST] The Egyptian government does not plan to allow the Muslim Brotherhood [Wikipedia backgrounder] to become a legal political party even though it has so far won 76 of 444 seats by running candidates as independents in the three-phase Egyptian parliamentary elections, according to President Hosni Mubarak’s adviser Osama el-Baz on Tuesday. On Monday the government arrested about 200 Brotherhood members [JURIST report] in eight provinces in advance of a new round of elections scheduled for Thursday. Defending the ban, el-Baz said “We do not want to mix religion with politics,” referring to the Brotherhood's religious orientation and goal of incorporating Islamic law into secular legislation. He also cited a concern for the country’s nine million Christians, although the Brotherhood has said it does not want to exclude them. Aljazeera has more.

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