Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood sets up new party

The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed al-Mursi (Nov 2010 picture) Mohammed al-Mursi insisted the new party would not be theocratic

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has set up a new party to contest up to half the seats in a parliamentary election scheduled for September.

The head of the Freedom and Justice Party says it will be a civil, not a theocratic, group.

The election follows the removal of President Hosni Mubarak in February after a popular revolt.

The Muslim Brotherhood ran candidates as independents in previous elections, to circumvent a ban on the group.

It has sought to allay fears of an Islamist parliamentary majority, and said it would be willing to co-operate with secular parties.

Mohammed al-Mursi, the head of the new Freedom and Justice Party, told reporters in Cairo: "It is not an Islamist party in the old understanding, it is not theocratic."

Egypt's constitution bans parties based on religion, class or regionalism.

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