The Brotherhood admitted that it had little chance of taking the lead in a future government. "We couldn't dominate this movement even if we wanted to," Mr el-Mursi said. "The Muslim Brotherhood does not seek power. We will not put forward a candidate for the presidency." He added, however, that they would participate in a future parliament.
Aware that they are feared by the West, the Brotherhood stressed yesterday that they wanted a secular, democratic Egypt, rather than one dominated by Sharia, or Islamic law. Analysts believe that the Brotherhood could muster about 25 per cent of the vote in immediate elections, but note that the share could drop as long-suppressed secular parties gain ground.