Mubarak assures integrity in elections amid doubts
Despite skeptism by human rights groups, Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak, assured the nation that the parliamentary elections in November will be free, fair and transparent.
During the conference, Mubarak told the NDP that he and the party anticipate that the elections will be free and have integrity; he added that the polls will be supervised by the Election Committee and Egyptian civil society groups.
Mubarak confirmed that his party would work in favour of the country’s poor who have not yet felt the benefits of the government’s economic reforms.
According to observers, the upcoming elections will be seen as a foreshadowing of the more important presidential elections slated for 2011. The aging Mubarak, now 82 years old, refrained from hinting at whether or not he will run again in the presidential election.
Analysts fear that violence may mar the upcoming parliamentary elections, highlighting that over a dozen people were killed in the last election in 2005, where the strongest political opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood, secured a fifth of parliament. This election the MB has fielded 134 candidates, with 14 for the women’s quota.
So far, the Election Committee has rejected four of the MB’s candidates, including the deputy leader of its parliamentary bloc in what can be described as an early start to rigged elections.