The Egyptian commission for political parties has officially registered the Freedom and Justice Party created by Muslim Brotherhood to run in the upcoming parliamentary polls, the Islamist movement said on its website.
The new party, which claims to be secular and completely distinct from the Muslim Brotherhood, is hoping to win around half of the parliamentary seats in the polls scheduled for September.
“The Freedom and Justice Party is officially recognized as of today (on Monday) after meeting all requirements stipulated by the New Parties Law,” the committee said in a statement carried by the Egyptian Gazette website.
In order to soften its hard-line Islamist image, the party has appointed a Coptic Christian as vice president and invited Christians and women to join its ranks, although it emphasized strict adherence to Islamic values as the core of its political doctrine.
Last month, the party announced that it had about 9,000 founding members.
The Muslim Brotherhood, created in 1928 by Hasan al-Banna, was banned in 1954 for its alleged involvement in the attempted assassination of President Gamal Abdul Nasser.
After renouncing violence in the 1970s, the movement, although still outlawed, became a major political opponent of President Hosni Mubarak. The group was legalized four month after Mubarak was ousted as Egypt’s leader amid large-scale opposition protests in February.
Although the group has said it would not take part in the upcoming presidential elections, two of its leaders, Abdul Munim Abu al-Futuh and Sheikh Hazem Abu Ismail, have already announced their intention to run for president.
CAIRO, June 7 (RIA Novosti)