Egypt police arrest 54 Muslim Brotherhood members as candidate registration opens

[JURIST] Egyptian security officials arrested 54 members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder] Tuesday, as Egypt began candidate registration for the upcoming April 8 provincial council elections [MB report]. Egypt's provincial councils administer local municipal government services. These municipal elections were originally scheduled for 2006, but the Egyptian legislature passed a law [JURIST report] delaying the election for two years after the Muslim Brotherhood made a strong showing in the 2005 parliamentary elections. The Muslim Brotherhood, which has accused the government of trying to prevent it from running candidates in the upcoming elections, also said that 43 members were detained on Monday.

Egyptian police arrested 25 members [JURIST report] of the Muslim Brother last Wednesday, following the arrest of 17 members last Tuesday. Muslim Brotherhood members officially run as independents in elections as the organization has been banned in Egypt [JURIST news archive] since 1954. The Egyptian government accuses the group of trying to create an Islamic theocracy through violence. AP has more.

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