World Bulletin / News Desk
The Muslim Brotherhood has lost its majority inside Egypt's Bar Association after four of its members lost board seats due to their failure to attend board meetings.
This brings to four the number of professional unions on whose boards the Brotherhood – the group from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails – has lost its majority since Morsi's ouster by the army last year.
The Brotherhood had already lost its majority on the boards of Egypt's Medical Association, Veterinarians Syndicate and the Engineers Syndicate.
Last week, the board of the Bar Association decided to sack four Brotherhood-affiliated board members due to a failure by the latter to attend board meetings for the last several months.
The board also decided to fill the four vacant seats with the four non-Brotherhood lawyers who received the most votes – after the Brotherhood-affiliated board members – in last November's board elections.
A Brotherhood-backed list of candidates won a majority of seats in the Bar Association's November board elections, winning 27 out of 46 seats.
Brotherhood-allied board member Mohamed al-Damati walked off the board in January to protest what he described as board head Sameh Ashour's refusal to share responsibility for managing the association.
The recent sacking of the four Brotherhood-affiliated board members brings the number of board seats held by the Brotherhood and its allies down to 22, meaning the movement no longer holds a majority on the board.
On Monday, a Brotherhood figure challenged the decision to sack the four men, saying that two thirds of the members of the board should have approved the move – which never happened.
"Some board members are being pursued by authorities because they're members of the Muslim Brotherhood," he told Anadolu Agency.
"Other [Brotherhood] members are in jail in politically-motivated cases because they support Morsi," he added.
Egypt's Bar Association is among the country's most important professional unions. With 250,000 members, it is also one of Egypt's largest.
Since Morsi's ouster by the army in July of last year, Egyptian authorities have launched a wide-ranging crackdown on members and supporters of his Muslim Brotherhood movement.
Over the course of the last 15 months, thousands of Brotherhood members and leaders have been rounded up and accused of "inciting violence" and taking part in attacks on police stations and Christian churches.
The Brotherhood, for its part, emphatically denies the allegations and accuses the authorities of making politically-motivated arrests.Last Mod: 29 Eylül 2014, 15:01