• November 23, 2005
  • 3 minutes read

An Ayatollah era in Egypt?

An Ayatollah era in Egypt?

Egypt elections free and fair

Egypt’s semi-official Al Ahram daily said in its November 22 editorial that the country’s second round of legislative elections were free and fair despite violence that left one person dead and others injured.

The mass-circulation paper criticized the violence that erupted between supporters of different parties and candidates, saying that it hoped that the level of the election’s integrity would make such coercion of voters part of the country’s past history.

The daily said in all democracies, the party that wins a majority in parliament might become a minority in the following elections, "and this happens with all sportsmanship known as transferring power from the government to the opposition and vice versa".

An Ayatollah era in Egypt?

The London-based Ash Sharq Al Awsat said on November 22 that the first two rounds of Egypt’s parliamentary elections brought two surprises so far: The neutrality of the government in the polls and the establishment of a powerful Muslim Brotherhood opposition.

The Saudi-owned daily said that if the Islamists grab 100 seats in parliament, they would constitute one-fourth of the National Assembly and would thus be able to finally license a party for the first time and choose a candidate for the presidential elections. It argued that the next parliament will for the first time have a substantial opposition presence that will face the ruling National Democratic Party.

It said that if the ruling party has political concerns now, other sectors of society also have their concerns that the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood "may be the beginning of an Iranian-style Ayatollah era in Egypt".

The paper, distributed in most Arab capitals, said that the Islamic movement deserves the results that it achieved due to its history in political and social work with the people.

But, the paper added, "it remains to be seen whether the Muslim Brotherhood will be a political power that will work with the logic of the times or use the Ayatollah rhetoric in frightening others and seeking to solidify fundamentalism".