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:: Egypt’s 2010 Parliamentary Elections > 2010 election update
Down but not Out for the Count – MB Boycotts Runoffs
Down but not Out for the Count – MB Boycotts Runoffs
One big, fat zero! That is what the Muslim Brotherhood is said to have got for their concerted efforts in the 2010 parliamentary elections.
Friday, December 3,2010 23:37
by Staff Writer IkhwanWeb

One big, fat zero! That is what the Muslim Brotherhood is said to have got for their concerted efforts in the 2010 parliamentary elections. Can it be that despite the masses of supporters, the determined candidates, and the rallies with hosts of followers, the ballot boxes, overseen by the ever-watchful regime, showed that in fact, hardly anyone in Egypt wants the Muslim Brotherhood to have even one single solitary seat in parliament? This is unbelievable to most, and the Brotherhood is not the only group  who believe the elections were rigged.

Extensive restrictions on media coverage and civil society monitoring ensured there would be little transparency on Election Day. Sunday’s vote was harshly criticised by allies such as the United States as well as human rights groups for a lack of international monitoring, violence and alleged restrictions on freedom of association, speech and press prior to the election.

Many Egyptians are resigned to such fraudulent behaviour on the part of their government and see the whole exercise as a charade with premeditated results. Others however, said they were surprised the government took its victory so far.

As the results of Egypt’s parliamentary elections keep trickling in, no one was really surprised that  Mubarak’s NDP won a huge victory. Likewise, no one was surprised when Muslim Brotherhood candidates took a beating. After all, the whole thing is just a charade.

In response to this mockery of democracy,  Muslim Brotherhood chairman, Dr. Mohammed Badie, has officially  announced the group's decision to boycott the runoff elections scheduled for next Sunday, deciding to withdraw all its 27 candidates who were expected to contest in the run-off including candidates for the women's quota.
 
This decision is a result of the incidents which took place in the first round of the elections. Badie stressed that despite the obvious failure to secure any seats outright they had succeeded in achieving their objective of exposing the government to the world; an illegitimate and corrupt tyrannical regime.

Shrugging off accusations of fraud, but obviously looking to tighten its grip ahead of next year’s presidential elections, the NDP  is set on orchestrating a near monopoly in Parliament’s 518-member lower house.

The NDP enjoys little credibility anywhere in the world because of the total lack of transparency, widespread irregularities and brutality that characterized the voting and counting process. It comes as no surprise then that the regime rebuffed international organizations wishing to observe the elections justifying themselves by saying that such an act impedes the work of local civil monitors. Monitors mostly watched the elections from outside polling places, but they witnessed widespread electoral fraud, especially ballot box stuffing. Monitors witnessed or received eyewitness accounts (as well as video evidence) of voting stations being closed for hours while poll workers wrote out ballot after ballot, and of ruling party supporters of candidates arriving at voting stations with large plastic bags full of voter cards or completed ballots. Meanwhile, outside the polling places, vote buying proceeded as usual.

Coercion and intimidation mostly took place at the hands of government-affiliated thugs hired to keep voters out of certain polling stations for hours at a time. They were also used to expel civil society monitors and journalists, and intimidate or beat up campaign workers, while uniformed security looked on. Even Egyptian judges have submitted complaints about election fraud.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s role of taking on the regime legally and politically and exposing its irregularities is vital amid the economic dissatisfaction, police brutality and torture, and public safety problems that are souring the attitude of Egyptians. It could be argued that without the presence and influence of the MB the internal situation of Egypt would be difficult to keep at a simmer, and could easily boil over in to even more violence and civil unrest.

The 2010 parliamentary election is seen by Egyptians as having stolen their will and although the MB has boycotted the run-offs scheduled for Sunday, their role and influence is still keenly felt, but the masses’ response to the continual fraud and laughable results of the regime’s version of democracy, will undoubtedly turn the temperature up another notch.

tags: Parliamentary Elections / Civil Society / Human Rights Groups / Badie / NDP / MB Candidates / Polls / Run-offs / / Human Rights in Egypt / Egyptian Eelections / NDP Candidates / Rigged Elections
Posted in 2010 election update  
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