CAIRO – The Egyptian authorities have released more than half of some 460 Muslim Brotherhood activists arrested in legislative elections this week, a leading member of the Islamist group said on Tuesday.
The activists were rounded up before and during the elections in which the Muslim Brotherhood poses the strongest challenge to the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).
“About 260 have got out and there are still about 200 (in prison),” Essam el-Erian told Reuters.
The Brotherhood, which is officially banned, has tripled its strength in parliament halfway through the elections with 47 seats. They had 15 places in the outgoing chamber, which was elected in 2000. The NDP has won about 120 seats so far.
The Brotherhood is contesting about one third of parliament’s 444 elected seats, not posing a threat to the NDP’s control. Brotherhood candidates stand as independents to sidestep the ban on the group…