• October 22, 2006
  • 3 minutes read

Egypt: Five MB Candidates For Labor Union Detained

Egypt: Five MB Candidates For Labor Union Detained

 The security authorities on Thursday October 19, 2006, sealed off the area of the Labors Union and denied the candidates access into the Union premises.

 They also launched a random campaign of arrests among the passers by who happened to exist in the vicinity, which reached out to  five of the Muslim Brotherhood candidates on their way to the Union to obtain their election credentials. Commenting on the incident, MB Parliamentary Bloc member Saber Abul Fotouh, who is also the group’s coordinator in the election, said that the Muslim Brotherhood will stand for the election in spite of all such law violating acts and will continue to advocate the right of all workers including the MB workers to participate in the election, regarding this as a right enshrined in the constitution .

He also added that such crackdowns will not weaken their resolve to participate, pointing out that suits have been lodged before the court due to the crippling conditions placed by the Union to hinder them from participation, citing the fresh instructions that the candidate must obtain a certificate of what the Union committee called the election status certificate,  and that such papers must by signed by at least three members of the Cairo- based Labor Union , a condition overturned by the Higher Administrative Court.

 Among the crippling conditions also is that the deadline was reduced to three days only, which makes it difficult for any candidate to complete such newly imposed formalities. The MB member also complained of many other irregularities on the part of the Union , foremost among which is the absence of the judicial oversight of the subsidiary Union committees in governorates.

The Muslim Brotherhood earlier a week ago decided to field some of its members to stand for the November election but the group opted to participate only in 15% of the seats allocated to the companies boards of directors and 50% of the seats of the seats affiliated to the Union , as well as participating in 1700 subsidiary committees nationwide. For the first time, the group has fielded 8 female workers to stand for the election.

The Muslim Brotherhood’ platform in this election highlights three axes: mainly to help workers regain their rights, to stand up against the abuse of privatization program as well as the early pension program which has rendered over one million workers jobless after the lay offs resulting from the privatization program; the MB platform also will highlight the necessity of creating mechanisms to enhance and maintain the Egyptian industries.