The Muslim Brotherhood announced Wednesday that it will boycott the second round of this year's national election in Egypt, citing rampant rigging by the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).
This latest move comes just days after the Brotherhood lost big in the first round of Egypt's Parliamentary elections—going from its current position with 88 seats to failing to win any seats outright. Twenty-six of the Brotherhood's candidates did make it to the run-off round. With Wednesday's news, these individuals will not continue to contest the seats in the December 5th runoff.
Though officially banned, the Brotherhood has continued to participate in Egyptian politics by running its candidates as independents. But in an atmosphere that, according to the Brotherhood, was filled with intimidation and voter fraud on the part of the NDP, not even that could change the final tally.
According to official reports, Egypt's government has staunchly defended the fairness of the Nov. 28th election. Instead of fraud, NDP officials point the losses to the opposition party's failure to impact legislation since making astounding gains in 2005's Parliamentary elections.
Although the Brotherhood had just risen to prominence as a serious contender in domestic Egyptian politics over the past five years, the ideological movement of the Muslim Brotherhood has long been far-reaching.
The Islamist group has helped lead to the creation of numerous political parties across the Arab world in its own image—including in Jordan, Syria, and Yemen—while also spawning a multitude of groups currently active in Europe and the United States. The designated terrorist group Hamas also identifies itself as a "wing" of the Muslim Brotherhood.