CAIRO – Egypt's main opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, announced results on Monday of a controversial election for its governing body, with analysts saying the group's old guard won the bulk of seats.
Some senior members said the elections were illegitimate because they violated the Brotherhood's internal rules. Most members of the group's shura, the council responsible for mapping policies, nonetheless agreed to go ahead.
The opinion of the majority was that the elections to the guidance bureau be carried out now, outgoing leader Mahdi Akef said in a statement on the Brotherhood's website.
The results signaled an end to the reformist trend within the Brotherhood, political analyst Khalil El Anani said.
These results indicate an internal coup d'etat against the reformist camp of the Brotherhood, he told Reuters. Most of the new members are over 50 years old and there is no representation of Brotherhood's youth.
The names of those who won seats on the 16-member guidance bureau were listed on the Brotherhood's official website.
The elections were the first for the bureau in 14 years. The 1995 elections instigated a government crackdown and the first military trial for the Brotherhood during the rule of President Hosni Mubarak, Anani said.
Elections were also held late last week for the Brotherhood's new leader, but results have not yet been announced.
The Brotherhood is officially banned by Egypt's government, forcing supporters to contest elections as independents.
(Writing by Marwa Awad; editing by David Stamp)