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Islamists urge Egyptians to vote out Mubarak
Islamists urge Egyptians to vote out Mubarak
Analysts doubt incumbent Egyptian president will be able to deliver on his campaign pledges.
Egypt’s largest opposition movement, the banned but tolerated Muslim Brotherhood, urged Sunday its supporters to vote out incumbent Hosni Mubarak in the September 7 presidential poll.
Sunday, June 24,2007 08:08
by Jean-Marc Mojon Democrati.net

Egypt"s largest opposition movement, the banned but tolerated Muslim Brotherhood, urged Sunday its supporters to vote out incumbent Hosni Mubarak in the September 7 presidential poll.


Meanwhile the 77-year-old president kicked off his nationwide campaign tour with a pledge to create millions of jobs if re-elected for a fifth six-year term.


"All Brothers have to realise that we cannot support an oppressor or cooperate with a corrupt person or a dictator," said a much-anticipated official statement stating the powerful Islamist movement"s voting advice.


Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for 24 years, is seeking a fifth term in office but has for the first time allowed others to challenge him for the job.


"It is unthinkable for us to decide to back Mubarak," the movement"s supreme leader, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, told the Al-Hayat daily Saturday.


"The fact that he has ruled over Egypt for 24 years and has not introduced a single political reform over that period is enough justification," he added.


The brotherhood is not fielding a candidate in the election as it has officially been banned since 1954, with the Egyptian government allowing it to operate whilst sporadically turning up the heat on its activists.


The Islamist movement, which claims an active membership of two million and the support of another three million nationwide, has been courted by several parties to throw its weight behind one of the 10 presidential candidates.


Ghad party leader Ayman Nur, one of Mubarak"s main challengers in Egypt"s first contested presidential poll, is facing what he says are trumped up forgery charges and opponents have also questioned the origins of his fortune.


A week ago, the secular Nur joined Akef in a prayer session at the Muslim Brotherhood"s headquarters to seek the movement"s endorsement.


Mubarak"s re-election appears guaranteed but many observers argue turnout will be the main issue at stake in the unprecedented election.


Mubarak"s February proposal for constitutional change allowing for multi-party elections was criticised as having too many strings attached and the country"s judges said the May referendum that approved it was rigged.


The brotherhood said it saw no "will by the regime to begin steps for the genuine reform that the Egyptian people have been waiting for."


Yet the Islamist group - which has several members behind bars - stopped short of joining other opposition parties" boycott call and sent out a strong message urging Egyptians to take part in the vote.


"Our participation in this election is a responsibility in front of Allah, history and the generations," said Sunday"s statement.


On Sunday, Mubarak delivered a speech in the 10th of Ramadan industrial city, promising to create 700,000 jobs a year over the next six years.


He said that unemployment - which official figures put at nine percent and independent estimates at double that - was Egypt"s "most serious challenge".


Mubarak unveiled billion-dollar plans to pump money into the industrial and tourism sectors, offer loans to set up small and medium-sized enterprises and reclaim desert land to be distribute the country"s youth.


But analysts, including Mohammed Said Saeed, deputy director of the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, doubted Mubarak would be able to deliver on his campaign pledges.


"I can"t see anything too promising on the unemployment issue, especially when you look at all the other commitments, such as boosting consumption, raising minimum wages," Saeed said.


"You can"t have all these things at the same time. I wonder how these figures stick together in any consistent coherent policy."


Posted in MB News , Reports , Activites , Election Coverage  
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