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Muslim Brotherhood join Egyptian bar group

June 2, 2009 at 4:20 PM   |   Comments

CAIRO, June 2 (UPI) -- An Egyptian lawyers' union voted to return the Muslim Brotherhood to its leadership ranks, solidifying its position as a political force, officials say.

Members of the Egyptian Lawyers Syndicate, a civil group that acts as a bar association in Egypt, moved to welcome the Muslim Brotherhood to its ranks following nearly a decade of control by the ruling National Democratic Party in Cairo.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned from political activity, supported 12 candidates for 15 available seats on the 41-member syndicate council. Of those, nine emerged victorious, Emirati newspaper The National reports.

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood said the legal profession in Egypt was in decline, moving in step with the NDP.

"The lawyers' syndicate chairman did what the ruling party wanted him to do," said Talaat Sadat, a syndicate candidate and son of the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. "It reached the point where the security forces were always present in the syndicate and had the upper hand in any decision."

A report on the political activity of the Muslim Brotherhood in The Wall Street Journal recently, however, noted critics said the group was showing a lack of proficiency in public affairs, claiming Islamic slogans did not translate to political savvy.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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