Brotherhood official hopes new bill will legitimize group

A senior Muslim Brotherhood leader expressed his hope Monday that a new bill on civil society organizations will be passed, allowing the group to legalize its status and ending controversy over the issue.

Saad al-Husseiny, former chairman of the now-dissolved People's Assembly Budget and Planning Committee, voiced his opinion about the bill in a Twitter message.

"Had [it not] been to save embarrassment, I would have asked the president to consult political forces before passing the law on civil society that the People's Assembly had prepared," Husseiny wrote. "I believe the Brotherhood will immediately seek to legalize its position based on the new law."

Last month, Insurance and Social Affairs Minister Nagwa Khalil told Al-Masry Al-Youm that a number of Brotherhood leaders had verbally approached her to legalize the group's status through the new bill. She said, however, that they did not submit formal requests, fearing that "the number of its members, sources of funding and unlawful objectives would be exposed."

The Brotherhood had been banned under former President Hosni Mubarak. After the 25 January revolution, many called for the Brotherhood to seek legal status.

Former MP Mohamed Abou Hamed led protests Friday demanding that the group be dissolved, but the demonstrations drew a low turnout.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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