(Supporters at the new headquarter of the newly-formed Muslim Brotherhood Party during a news conference in Cairo, April 30, 2011/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has expelled a senior member for saying he would run for president in defiance of the group’s decision not to seek the post vacant since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in February.

The Brotherhood announced in April that its newly formed “Freedom and Justice” party would contest up to half the seats in a parliamentary election in September but would not field a candidate for the presidency to avoid dominating power. But Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh said in May he would run as an independent in a presidential vote expected to take place before the end of the year as an independent.

“The Shura Council (the group’s decision-making body) has decided to scrap the membership of Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh… because he announced he would run for the presidency,” the Brotherhood said in a statement posted on its website.

“This certainly shows the divisions among the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Mustapha al-Sayyid, a political science professor. “The young Muslim Brothers seem to favour Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh becoming a candidate for the presidency while others from the older generation do not want that,” he added.