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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

NGO disbanded over support for Brotherhood, former MP says

Tue, 28/12/2010 - 11:24
Photographed by Alsayed Albaz

Former MP Anwar Esmat al-Sadat on Tuesday accused the Ministry of Social Solidarity of disbanding a civilian organization due to its support for Muslim Brotherhood candidates during the recent parliamentary poll process.

The Brotherhood is Egypt's largest opposition movement.

Al-Mwasa, a Monufiya-based Islamic charity, provided the governorate's residents with medical services through five hospitals that serve over 1.5 million people in return for nominal fees, according to al-Sadat.

"The government could have sacked the governing board and held internal elections for a new one," al-Sadat said. "But it instead dissolved the whole charity relying on security reports whose motivations are well known."

Al-Sadat, who is also a board member at the Egyptian Federation of Associations and NGOs, stressed that the ministry's decision harms the interests of poor as well as hospital employees.

Egypt's security authorities earlier this week detained a number of Brotherhood members. Analysts believe the arrests were a government response to the group's declaration that it would organize peaceful protests over alleged vote-rigging during the elections.

The Muslim Brotherhood failed to win a single seat in the poll. The group then opted to withdraw its candidates from the run-offs in protest. During the previous parliamentary elections in 2005, the group seized 88 seats, enabling them to level criticism toward ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) policies.

Last week, Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie said the organization aims to adopt strictly peaceful means of protest against the newly-elected parliament.

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