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Muslim Brotherhood vows to soldier on

A young girl carrying a banner reading ‘Where is my Father?’ at an anti-Mubarak demonstration at the Society of Lawyers in downtown Cairo on September 1, 2005. Under intense security measures and with hundreds of riot troops deployed, demonstrators from three opposition parties, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, gathered outside the Union of Lawyers in downtown Cairo calling on the ouster of incumbent President Hosni Mubarak, the release of political prisoners and suspension of emergency (martial) law under which Egypt has been ruled for over two decades. (UPI Photo/Stewart Innes)
A young girl carrying a banner reading ‘Where is my Father?’ at an anti-Mubarak demonstration at the Society of Lawyers in downtown Cairo on September 1, 2005. Under intense security measures and with hundreds of riot troops deployed, demonstrators from three opposition parties, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, gathered outside the Union of Lawyers in downtown Cairo calling on the ouster of incumbent President Hosni Mubarak, the release of political prisoners and suspension of emergency (martial) law under which Egypt has been ruled for over two decades. (UPI Photo/Stewart Innes) | License Photo

CAIRO, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- The Muslim Brotherhood said it would continue its struggle to regain the rights of Egyptians despite a decision to boycott a second round of elections.

The Muslim Brotherhood ignored early calls for a boycott of the country's parliamentary elections, saying competition was the only way to ensure reform. The group, after complaining of ballot stuffing and general intimidation, announced this week it was pulling out of a second round of voting after failing to secure a single seat in the first round.

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The group is banned from competing openly in the political process but took 20 percent of the seats in 2005 elections by fielding its candidates as independents.

Mahmoud Hussein, the secretary-general of the Muslim Brotherhood, told the BBC that participation in the recent elections was worth the struggle.

"If the Brotherhood did not participate in the elections, the whole world would not have been able to witness the abuses that were committed against voters by the Egyptian government," he said.

Washington in the wake of the voting said it was "disappointed" about the transparency in the process, adding it was "dismayed" by the action of security forces during Election Day.

Turnout among the country's 41 million registered voters was reported light.

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