Egypt’s Brotherhood wants parliament to form govt

Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:06pm GMT

* Muslim Brotherhood could be at odds with army

* Wants parliamentary majority to form government

By Tom Perry

CAIRO, Nov 29 (Reuters) – The Muslim Brotherhoodbelieves a majority in the new parliament should form a newgovernment, the head of the group’s political party said onTuesday, a position that could set the Islamists on course for arow with Egypt’s military rulers.

Mohamed Mursi, leader of the group’s Freedom and JusticeParty, said a cabinet not backed by a parliamentary majoritycould not govern in practice. The Freedom and Justice Party iswidely expected to do well in a three-stage legislative electionthat began on Monday and concludes in January.

“A government that is not based on a parliamentary majoritycannot conduct its work in practice,” Mursi said to reportersduring a tour of polling stations in the working class districtof Shubra in Cairo.

“Therefore we see that it is natural that the parliamentarymajority in the coming parliament will be the one that forms thegovernment,” added Mursi, whose group was banned under thedeposed President Hosni Mubarak.

“We see that it is better for it to be a coalitiongovernment built on a majority coalition in the parliament,”Mursi added.

BROTHERHOOD SEES 40 PCT TURNOUT

The military council last week appointed a new primeminister to form a government following the resignation of theprevious cabinet in the face of street protests demanding animmediate end to army rule.

Though a member of the military council has said the newparliament will not have the power to dismiss the cabinet orform a new one, observers question whether the generals will beable to resist the will of a chamber elected in a fair vote.

According to their own timetable, the generals will handpower to a civilian president by mid-2012. Until then, thecouncil will exercise sweeping powers formerly held by Mubarak,for whom the legislature was no more than a rubber stamp.

Turnout has been high for the first round of the three-phaseelection. A member of the military council said on Tuesday heexpected turnout of more than 70 percent of registered voters.

Mursi, speaking before the polls were due to close in thefirst phase on Tuesday, said indications suggested a turnout ofclose to 40 percent. “The Egyptian people today are performing aduty for their nation,” he said.

“After this duty, the Egyptians, God willing and with thepassing of time, will obtain their complete rights. This is afirst step to organise the Egyptian house from the inside, thepolitical restructuring of Egypt,” he said.

“Egyptians are today practicing their right to vote andpicking the parliament of the revolution in complete freedom,”he said.

(Writing by Tom Perry, editing by Peter Millership)

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