Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Tue109 2018

Last update19:14 PM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: Issues > Other Blogs
Mubarak’s party takes a cue from opposition
  Mubarak’s party takes a cue from opposition  By Michael Slackman The New York Times   CAIRO As voters weighed their choices in parliamentary elections that begin Wednesday, candidates strung banners across Cairo that often struck a theme similar to the one hanging in the neighborhood of Al Sayeda Zeinab: "If God supports you, then nobody can beat yo
Thursday, November 10,2005 00:00
by New York Times

  Mubarak’s party takes a cue from opposition 
By Michael Slackman The New York Times


 
 
CAIRO As voters weighed their choices in parliamentary elections that begin Wednesday, candidates strung banners across Cairo that often struck a theme similar to the one hanging in the neighborhood of Al Sayeda Zeinab: "If God supports you, then nobody can beat you."
 
The slogan caught the attention of many people, at least in part, because the candidate using it was not a member of the popular, if outlawed, Muslim Brotherhood. The candidate was Fathi Sorour, the speaker of the Parliament and a leader within the governing National Democratic Party of President Hosni Mubarak.
 
Egyptian voters begin the process of electing 444 members of Parliament on Wednesday, with a round of elections scheduled to be completed by mid-December. The contest is the first time voters will go to the polls since re-electing Mubarak in September to a fifth six-year term after the nation’s first multicandidate election for president.
 
While the presidential race was widely criticized as a one-sided contest favoring Mubarak, government officials said it was intended as a first step toward building a political class in Egypt after decades of political stagnation, and of generating momentum for a more competitive parliamentary election.
 
The campaign season demonstrated that for now the status quo prevails: The National Democratic Party remains in control, opposition political parties are weak, and the most powerful opposition organization in the country remains the Muslim Brotherhood, whose members run for Parliament as independents.
 
Not only have government leaders tried to challenge the organization on its own turf - using the language of religion - but they also have allowed the group, which remains banned, to take a more public role in promoting its candidates for Parliament than it has in the past. At the same time that the National Democratic Party complained of the Muslim Brotherhood’s use of "Islam is the Answer" as its own election slogan, many candidates for the governing party used their own religious references.
 
The emergence of religious slogans among governing party candidates and the tolerance for a more assertive Muslim Brotherhood are the most significant themes of a campaign season that was otherwise low key, political analysts said, largely it overlapped with the holy month of Ramadan.
 
A court has ruled that civil society groups can act as poll monitors and so it is expected that thousands will be out on the lookout for violations starting Wednesday. The government agreed to use transparent ballot boxes - so that voters and poll watchers will know the boxes were not stuffed in advance. And there will be a small delegation of four fact-finders from the European Commission touring polling places as well.
 
The government announced its commitment to hold fair and neutral elections and it officially banned the use of government facilities, such as buildings and buses to help bring state workers to the polls to vote for National Democratic Party candidates.
 
But many critics say the changes are at the margins. Ghada Shahbandar, who heads a local election monitoring group, said there had already been signs of what she called irregularities. She said, for example, that her group did an analysis of voter lists provided by the government and found that on average, 30 percent of the names were either duplicates or illegal for other reasons. Though the group sampled a relatively small number, she said, the findings held up in several voting districts around Cairo.
 
"We have witnessed where candidates have offered to pay for votes, where paid thugs have intimidated challengers," she said. "This kind of intimidation, together with the bribery, together with the faulty lists, will not encourage people to participate."
 
 
 
Abeer Allam contributed reporting for this article.
 
 CAIRO As voters weighed their choices in parliamentary elections that begin Wednesday, candidates strung banners across Cairo that often struck a theme similar to the one hanging in the neighborhood of Al Sayeda Zeinab: "If God supports you, then nobody can beat you."
 
The slogan caught the attention of many people, at least in part, because the candidate using it was not a member of the popular, if outlawed, Muslim Brotherhood. The candidate was Fathi Sorour, the speaker of the Parliament and a leader within the governing National Democratic Party of President Hosni Mubarak.
 
Egyptian voters begin the process of electing 444 members of Parliament on Wednesday, with a round of elections scheduled to be completed by mid-December. The contest is the first time voters will go to the polls since re-electing Mubarak in September to a fifth six-year term after the nation’s first multicandidate election for president.
 
While the presidential race was widely criticized as a one-sided contest favoring Mubarak, government officials said it was intended as a first step toward building a political class in Egypt after decades of political stagnation, and of generating momentum for a more competitive parliamentary election.
 
The campaign season demonstrated that for now the status quo prevails: The National Democratic Party remains in control, opposition political parties are weak, and the most powerful opposition organization in the country remains the Muslim Brotherhood, whose members run for Parliament as independents.
 
Not only have government leaders tried to challenge the organization on its own turf - using the language of religion - but they also have allowed the group, which remains banned, to take a more public role in promoting its candidates for Parliament than it has in the past. At the same time that the National Democratic Party complained of the Muslim Brotherhood’s use of "Islam is the Answer" as its own election slogan, many candidates for the governing party used their own religious references.
 
The emergence of religious slogans among governing party candidates and the tolerance for a more assertive Muslim Brotherhood are the most significant themes of a campaign season that was otherwise low key, political analysts said, largely it overlapped with the holy month of Ramadan.
 
A court has ruled that civil society groups can act as poll monitors and so it is expected that thousands will be out on the lookout for violations starting Wednesday. The government agreed to use transparent ballot boxes - so that voters and poll watchers will know the boxes were not stuffed in advance. And there will be a small delegation of four fact-finders from the European Commission touring polling places as well.
 
The government announced its commitment to hold fair and neutral elections and it officially banned the use of government facilities, such as buildings and buses to help bring state workers to the polls to vote for National Democratic Party candidates.
 
But many critics say the changes are at the margins. Ghada Shahbandar, who heads a local election monitoring group, said there had already been signs of what she called irregularities. She said, for example, that her group did an analysis of voter lists provided by the government and found that on average, 30 percent of the names were either duplicates or illegal for other reasons. Though the group sampled a relatively small number, she said, the findings held up in several voting districts around Cairo.
 
"We have witnessed where candidates have offered to pay for votes, where paid thugs have intimidated challengers," she said. "This kind of intimidation, together with the bribery, together with the faulty lists, will not encourage people to participate."
 

 
 CAIRO As voters weighed their choices in parliamentary elections that begin Wednesday, candidates strung banners across Cairo that often struck a theme similar to the one hanging in the neighborhood of Al Sayeda Zeinab: "If God supports you, then nobody can beat you."
 
The slogan caught the attention of many people, at least in part, because the candidate using it was not a member of the popular, if outlawed, Muslim Brotherhood. The candidate was Fathi Sorour, the speaker of the Parliament and a leader within the governing National Democratic Party of President Hosni Mubarak.
 
Egyptian voters begin the process of electing 444 members of Parliament on Wednesday, with a round of elections scheduled to be completed by mid-December. The contest is the first time voters will go to the polls since re-electing Mubarak in September to a fifth six-year term after the nation’s first multicandidate election for president.
 
While the presidential race was widely criticized as a one-sided contest favoring Mubarak, government officials said it was intended as a first step toward building a political class in Egypt after decades of political stagnation, and of generating momentum for a more competitive parliamentary election.
 
The campaign season demonstrated that for now the status quo prevails: The National Democratic Party remains in control, opposition political parties are weak, and the most powerful opposition organization in the country remains the Muslim Brotherhood, whose members run for Parliament as independents.
 
Not only have government leaders tried to challenge the organization on its own turf - using the language of religion - but they also have allowed the group, which remains banned, to take a more public role in promoting its candidates for Parliament than it has in the past. At the same time that the National Democratic Party complained of the Muslim Brotherhood’s use of "Islam is the Answer" as its own election slogan, many candidates for the governing party used their own religious references.
 
The emergence of religious slogans among governing party candidates and the tolerance for a more assertive Muslim Brotherhood are the most significant themes of a campaign season that was otherwise low key, political analysts said, largely it overlapped with the holy month of Ramadan.
 
A court has ruled that civil society groups can act as poll monitors and so it is expected that thousands will be out on the lookout for violations starting Wednesday. The government agreed to use transparent ballot boxes - so that voters and poll watchers will know the boxes were not stuffed in advance. And there will be a small delegation of four fact-finders from the European Commission touring polling places as well.
 
The government announced its commitment to hold fair and neutral elections and it officially banned the use of government facilities, such as buildings and buses to help bring state workers to the polls to vote for National Democratic Party candidates.
 
But many critics say the changes are at the margins. Ghada Shahbandar, who heads a local election monitoring group, said there had already been signs of what she called irregularities. She said, for example, that her group did an analysis of voter lists provided by the government and found that on average, 30 percent of the names were either duplicates or illegal for other reasons. Though the group sampled a relatively small number, she said, the findings held up in several voting districts around Cairo.
 
"We have witnessed where candidates have offered to pay for votes, where paid thugs have intimidated challengers," she said. "This kind of intimidation, together with the bribery, together with the faulty lists, will not encourage people to participate."
 

 
 CAIRO As voters weighed their choices in parliamentary elections that begin Wednesday, candidates strung banners across Cairo that often struck a theme similar to the one hanging in the neighborhood of Al Sayeda Zeinab: "If God supports you, then nobody can beat you."
 
The slogan caught the attention of many people, at least in part, because the candidate using it was not a member of the popular, if outlawed, Muslim Brotherhood. The candidate was Fathi Sorour, the speaker of the Parliament and a leader within the governing National Democratic Party of President Hosni Mubarak.
 
Egyptian voters begin the process of electing 444 members of Parliament on Wednesday, with a round of elections scheduled to be completed by mid-December. The contest is the first time voters will go to the polls since re-electing Mubarak in September to a fifth six-year term after the nation’s first multicandidate election for president.
 

 
 
CAIRO As voters weighed their choices in parliamentary elections that begin Wednesday, candidates strung banners across Cairo that often struck a theme similar to the one hanging in the neighborhood of Al Sayeda Zeinab: "If God supports you, then nobody can beat you."
 
The slogan caught the attention of many people, at least in part, because the candidate using it was not a member of the popular, if outlawed, Muslim Brotherhood. The candidate was Fathi Sorour, the speaker of the Parliament and a leader within the governing National Democratic Party of President Hosni Mubarak.
 
Egyptian voters begin the process of electing 444 members of Parliament on Wednesday, with a round of elections scheduled to be completed by mid-December. The contest is the first time voters will go to the polls since re-electing Mubarak in September to a fifth six-year term after the nation’s first multicandidate election for president.
 
While the presidential race was widely criticized as a one-sided contest favoring Mubarak, government officials said it was intended as a first step toward building a political class in Egypt after decades of political stagnation, and of generating momentum for a more competitive parliamentary election.
 
The campaign season demonstrated that for now the status quo prevails: The National Democratic Party remains in control, opposition political parties are weak, and the most powerful opposition organization in the country remains the Muslim Brotherhood, whose members run for Parliament as independents.
 
Not only have government leaders tried to challenge the organization on its own turf - using the language of religion - but they also have allowed the group, which remains banned, to take a more public role in promoting its candidates for Parliament than it has in the past. At the same time that the National Democratic Party complained of the Muslim Brotherhood’s use of "Islam is the Answer" as its own election slogan, many candidates for the governing party used their own religious references.
 
The emergence of religious slogans among governing party candidates and the tolerance for a more assertive Muslim Brotherhood are the most significant themes of a campaign season that was otherwise low key, political analysts said, largely it overlapped with the holy month of Ramadan.
 
A court has ruled that civil society groups can act as poll monitors and so it is expected that thousands will be out on the lookout for violations starting Wednesday. The government agreed to use transparent ballot boxes - so that voters and poll watchers will know the boxes were not stuffed in advance. And there will be a small delegation of four fact-finders from the European Commission touring polling places as well.
 
The government announced its commitment to hold fair and neutral elections and it officially banned the use of government facilities, such as buildings and buses to help bring state workers to the polls to vote for National Democratic Party candidates.
 
But many critics say the changes are at the margins. Ghada Shahbandar, who heads a local election monitoring group, said there had already been signs of what she called irregularities. She said, for example, that her group did an analysis of voter lists provided by the government and found that on average, 30 percent of the names were either duplicates or illegal for other reasons. Though the group sampled a relatively small number, she said, the findings held up in several voting districts around Cairo.
 
"We have witnessed where candidates have offered to pay for votes, where paid thugs have intimidated challengers," she said. "This kind of intimidation, together with the bribery, together with the faulty lists, will not encourage people to participate."
 
 
 
 CAIRO As voters weighed their choices in parliamentary elections that begin Wednesday, candidates strung banners across Cairo that often struck a theme similar to the one hanging in the neighborhood of Al Sayeda Zeinab: "If God supports you, then nobody can beat you."
 
The slogan caught the attention of many people, at least in part, because the candidate using it was not a member of the popular, if outlawed, Muslim Brotherhood. The candidate was Fathi Sorour, the speaker of the Parliament and a leader within the governing National Democratic Party of President Hosni Mubarak.
 
Egyptian voters begin the process of electing 444 members of Parliament on Wednesday, with a round of elections scheduled to be completed by mid-December. The contest is the first time voters will go to the polls since re-electing Mubarak in September to a fifth six-year term after the nation’s first multicandidate election for president.
 
While the presidential race was widely criticized as a one-sided contest favoring Mubarak, government officials said it was intended as a first step toward building a political class in Egypt after decades of political stagnation, and of generating momentum for a more competitive parliamentary election.
 
The campaign season demonstrated that for now the status quo prevails: The National Democratic Party remains in control, opposition political parties are weak, and the most powerful opposition organization in the country remains the Muslim Brotherhood, whose members run for Parliament as independents.
 
Not only have government leaders tried to challenge the organization on its own turf - using the language of religion - but they also have allowed the group, which remains banned, to take a more public role in promoting its candidates for Parliament than it has in the past. At the same time that the National Democratic Party complained of the Muslim Brotherhood’s use of "Islam is the Answer" as its own election slogan, many candidates for the governing party used their own religious references.
 
The emergence of religious slogans among governing party candidates and the tolerance for a more assertive Muslim Brotherhood are the most significant themes of a campaign season that was otherwise low key, political analysts said, largely it overlapped with the holy month of Ramadan.
 
A court has ruled that civil society groups can act as poll monitors and so it is expected that thousands will be out on the lookout for violations starting Wednesday. The government agreed to use transparent ballot boxes - so that voters and poll watchers will know the boxes were not stuffed in advance. And there will be a small delegation of four fact-finders from the European Commission touring polling places as well.
 
The government announced its commitment to hold fair and neutral elections and it officially banned the use of government facilities, such as buildings and buses to help bring state workers to the polls to vote for National Democratic Party candidates.
 
But many critics say the changes are at the margins. Ghada Shahbandar, who heads a local election monitoring group, said there had already been signs of what she called irregularities. She said, for example, that her group did an analysis of voter lists provided by the government and found that on average, 30 percent of the names were either duplicates or illegal for other reasons. Though the group sampled a relatively small number, she said, the findings held up in several voting districts around Cairo.
 
"We have witnessed where candidates have offered to pay for votes, where paid thugs have intimidated challengers," she said. "This kind of intimidation, together with the bribery, together with the faulty lists, will not encourage people to participate."
 
 
 
Abeer Allam contributed reporting for this article.
 
 CAIRO As voters weighed their choices in parliamentary elections that begin Wednesday, candidates strung banners across Cairo that often struck a theme similar to the one hanging in the neighborhood of Al Sayeda Zeinab: "If God supports you, then nobody can beat you."
 
The slogan caught the attention of many people, at least in part, because the candidate using it was not a member of the popular, if outlawed, Muslim Brotherhood. The candidate was Fathi Sorour, the speaker of the Parliament and a leader within the governing National Democratic Party of President Hosni Mubarak.
 
Egyptian voters begin the process of electing 444 members of Parliament on Wednesday, with a round of elections scheduled to be completed by mid-December. The contest is the first time voters will go to the polls since re-electing Mubarak in September to a fifth six-year term after the nation’s first multicandidate election for president.
 
While the presidential race was widely criticized as a one-sided contest favoring Mubarak, government officials said it was intended as a first step toward building a political class in Egypt after decades of political stagnation, and of generating momentum for a more competitive parliamentary election.
 
The campaign season demonstrated that for now the status quo prevails: The National Democratic Party remains in control, opposition political parties are weak, and the most powerful opposition organization in the country remains the Muslim Brotherhood, whose members run for Parliament as independents.
 
Not only have government leaders tried to challenge the organization on its own turf - using the language of religion - but they also have allowed the group, which remains banned, to take a more public role in promoting its candidates for Parliament than it has in the past. At the same time that the National Democratic Party complained of the Muslim Brotherhood’s use of "Islam is the Answer" as its own election slogan, many candidates for the governing party used their own religious references.
 
The emergence of religious slogans among governing party candidates and the tolerance for a more assertive Muslim Brotherhood are the most significant themes of a campaign season that was otherwise low key, political analysts said, largely it overlapped with the holy month of Ramadan.
 
A court has ruled that civil society groups can act as poll monitors and so it is expected that thousands will be out on the lookout for violations starting Wednesday. The government agreed to use transparent ballot boxes - so that voters and poll watchers will know the boxes were not stuffed in advance. And there will be a small delegation of four fact-finders from the European Commission touring polling places as well.
 
The government announced its commitment to hold fair and neutral elections and it officially banned the use of government facilities, such as buildings and buses to help bring state workers to the polls to vote for National Democratic Party candidates.
 
But many critics say the changes are at the margins. Ghada Shahbandar, who heads a local election monitoring group, said there had already been signs of what she called irregularities. She said, for example, that her group did an analysis of voter lists provided by the government and found that on average, 30 percent of the names were either duplicates or illegal for other reasons. Though the group sampled a relatively small number, she said, the findings held up in several voting districts around Cairo.
 
"We have witnessed where candidates have offered to pay for votes, where paid thugs have intimidated challengers," she said. "This kind of intimidation, together with the bribery, together with the faulty lists, will not encourage people to participate."
 
 
 
Abeer Allam contributed reporting for this article.
 
 CAIRO As voters weighed their choices in parliamentary elections that begin Wednesday, candidates strung banners across Cairo that often struck a theme similar to the one hanging in the neighborhood of Al Sayeda Zeinab: "If God supports you, then nobody can beat you."
 
The slogan caught the attention of many people, at least in part, because the candidate using it was not a member of the popular, if outlawed, Muslim Brotherhood. The candidate was Fathi Sorour, the speaker of the Parliament and a leader within the governing National Democratic Party of President Hosni Mubarak.
 
Egyptian voters begin the process of electing 444 members of Parliament on Wednesday, with a round of elections scheduled to be completed by mid-December. The contest is the first time voters will go to the polls since re-electing Mubarak in September to a fifth six-year term after the nation’s first multicandidate election for president.
 
While the presidential race was widely criticized as a one-sided contest favoring Mubarak, government officials said it was intended as a first step toward building a political class in Egypt after decades of political stagnation, and of generating momentum for a more competitive parliamentary election.
 
The campaign season demonstrated that for now the status quo prevails: The National Democratic Party remains in control, opposition political parties are weak, and the most powerful opposition organization in the country remains the Muslim Brotherhood, whose members run for Parliament as independents.
 
Not only have government leaders tried to challenge the organization on its own turf - using the language of religion - but they also have allowed the group, which remains banned, to take a more public role in promoting its candidates for Parliament than it has in the past. At the same time that the National Democratic Party complained of the Muslim Brotherhood’s use of "Islam is the Answer" as its own election slogan, many candidates for the governing party used their own religious references.
 
The emergence of religious slogans among governing party candidates and the tolerance for a more assertive Muslim Brotherhood are the most significant themes of a campaign season that was otherwise low key, 
 But many critics say the changes are at the margins. Ghada Shahbandar, who heads a local election monitoring group, said there had already been signs of what she called irregularities. She said, for example, that her group did an analysis of voter lists provided by the government and found that on average, 30 percent of the names were either duplicates or illegal for other reasons. Though the group sampled a relatively small number, she said, the findings held up in several voting districts around Cairo.
 
"We have witnessed where candidates have offered to pay for votes, where paid thugs have intimidated challengers," she said. "This kind of intimidation, together with the bribery, together with the faulty lists, will not encourage people to participate."
 
 
 
Abeer Allam contributed reporting for this article.
 
 


Posted in Other Blogs  
Add Comment Send to Friend Print
Related Articles