ANALYSIS-Brotherhood treads cautiously in new Egypt

Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:52pm GMT

* Brotherhood seeks to reassure Egyptian people, new rulers

* Group to gain in a free Egypt, sees others emerging

* Leading member sees group winning up to 30 pct in free vote

By Tom Perry

CAIRO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The Muslim Brotherhood is treading cautiously in the new Egypt, assuring the military government and fellow Egyptians that it does not want power and trying to dispel fears about its political strength.

The target of decades of state oppression, the Brotherhood wants to preserve the freedoms it is enjoying under the new military-led administration that took power from Hosni Mubarak.

So far, signs are encouraging for the Brotherhood: an eight-man judicial council appointed to propose democratic changes to the constitution includes one of its members.

But experts say the Islamists remain wary of the military. That partly explains why they have gone out of their way to say they are not seeking power -- a reiteration of a position they have long espoused to avoid confrontation with the state.   Continued...

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