Brotherhood students push for free polls

Brotherhood students push for free polls

Brotherhood students push for free polls 

Some 3,000 members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement protesting with their wrists symbolically chained at the campus of Cairo University yesterday.
CAIRO: Some 3,000 Islamists students staged a demonstration at Cairo University yesterday to press for increased freedom on campus and free and fair union elections next month.

“We don’t want security forces on campus, we don’t want the regime to intervene and rig student elections on November 11,” said one of the organisers, Abdulmonem Ibrahim.

He said similar demonstrations were being staged in other Egyptian cities.

A security official said that “dozens” had been arrested in Faiyum and Bani Sueif, south of Cairo, as they attempted to leave campus to march in the streets, which the authorities generally do not tolerate.

Male and female students demonstrated separately on Cairo University’s campus. The area was circled by hundreds of riot police to prevent them venturing onto the streets. Ibrahim said students from other universities outside Cairo had joined the protest.

“Not all were able to make it to Cairo,” he said, adding that around 100 had been turned back en route to the capital from Alexandria, north of Cairo, and Faiyum.

The men, all in their early twenties, were wearing green or yellow headbands marked “We are for reforms. We haven’t had free elections at least since 1995 and we decided to launch a campaign earlier this month to pressure the university administration for reforms,” said another organiser, Mustafa Haydar.

Another student said the administration had so far refused dialogue.

“If they don’t, we will step up our protest campaign but only using peaceful and legal means,” said Mohammed Imam. He said that the regime was interfering in student elections “the same way it rigs national elections.”

“If only the Muslim Brotherhood was able to form a party and parliamentary elections were free, it would take at least a third of seats in parliament,” said Imam.

Egypt House vote from Nov 9

CAIRO: Egypt’s three-phase parliamentary elections will kick off on November 9 and end on December 7, according to a presidential decree published in yesterday’s local press.

Residents in the governorates of Cairo, Guiza (south of the capital), Menufiya (in the Delta), Al Wadi Al Gadid (in the Western Sahara) and in the Upper Egypt governorates of Beni Sueif and Assiut will be the first to cast their ballots. The second stage on November 20 will take pace in Alexandria in northern Egypt, in the Delta towns of Beheiria, Qaliubiya and west of the country in Gharbiya, Ismailiya, Port Said and Suez.