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Egypt’s Opposition May Quit "Rigged" Elections
Egypt’s Opposition May Quit "Rigged" Elections Egypt’s opposition coalition, which groups opposition parties and the Muslim Brotherhood, will consider during a meeting on Saturday, November 12, boycotting the two remaining phases of the country’s legislative elections, protesting the rigging of the first phase in favor of the ruling party. "The National Front for Change will meet to
Saturday, November 12,2005 00:00
by Islam online,

Egypt’s Opposition May Quit "Rigged" Elections
Egypt’s opposition coalition, which groups opposition parties and the Muslim Brotherhood, will consider during a meeting on Saturday, November 12, boycotting the two remaining phases of the country’s legislative elections, protesting the rigging of the first phase in favor of the ruling party.

"The National Front for Change will meet to discuss a joint action plan in response to wide-scale rigging," George Ishaq, a co-founder and leader of the Kefaya (Enough) movement, told IslamOnline.net on Thursday November 10.

"Quitting the elections will be one of the options on the table if all powers agree to that," he added.

Ishaq said other options like demonstrations and conference would also be mooted to protest rigging in favor of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).

Voters in eight of Egypt’s governorates cast ballot Wednesday, November 9, in the first round of an almost month-long three-phase parliamentary polls.

This first round involved a total of 1,635 candidates vying for 164 of the People’s Assembly’s 444 seats that are up for grabs.

President Hosni Mubarak, also the NDP’s leader, has a constitutional right to appoint ten members to the legislature.

The opposition coalition has fielded 222 candidates from eleven parties and groups.

Brotherhood Could Join

Abdel Moneim Abul-Fotouh, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said they could join the protest measure.

"In case all parties in Saturday’s meeting and their candidates agreed on withdrawal from the elections, the Muslim Brotherhood may join them," he told IOL.

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Mahdi Akef accused the ruling regime Wednesday of wide-scale rigging of the elections.

"Irregularities began since the polling stations opened early Wednesday morning," he had said.

Mohamed Habib, Akef’s deputy, told IOL that three of the group’s 51 candidates have secured parliamentary seats in the first round.

He added that other 38 candidates will vie in the runoff on November 15, a far better results than all other opposition parties.

"Despite the rigging, the results show that the competition is only between the Muslim Brotherhood and the NDP, with the group’s candidates in the lead."

Some of the Brotherhood and opposition parties’ candidates have reported many irregularities.

Vote buying, hooliganism and psychological pressures practiced on voters were but few of the charges leveled against the NDP.

The Muslim Brotherhood is officially banned but, between periodic crackdowns, is often tolerated and has 16 deputies in the outgoing parliament.

Hundreds of its members have been detained during anti-government protests since May, but most have been released.

IslamOnline.net News
 


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