NDP musters itself to ban the MB’s slogan
Just days ahead of parliamentary candidates registration a statement was issued by the Higher Elections Commission maintaining that religious slogans such as “Islam is the solution” may not be raised.
According to Sayed Abdul Aziz Omar, the slogan violates laws and rules stated by the HEC concluding that candidates fielding for seats in the next parliament could not use religious slogans or raise funds from foreign sources.
The order follows a fierce campaign by state owned papers against Egypt’s strongest political opposition the Muslim Brotherhood whose candidates raise the banner. The campaign urged the committee to intervene and remove candidates who raise the religious slogan of ‘Islam is the Solution'” from the list of candidates.
Joining the fray, some leaders of the Officials from the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) also threatened that serious measures will be taken against candidates found guilty of raising religious slogans. NDP Secretary-General Safwat El-Sherif commended the HEC’s new orders, stressing that the ruling party rejected strongly attempts to undermine legitimacy and mix religion with politics.
This coincides with security forces’ escalation of their nationwide clampdown against the MB opposition members.
According to the MB spokesman from the MB parliamentary bloc Dr. Saad Katatni the group’s slogan has been previously approved by the Administrative Court during the Shura Council mid-term elections in 2007 and a case filed by NDP Secretary-General Safwat El-Sherif against the slogan during the 2007 Shura elections was rejected by the Administrative Court with the latter stating that the slogan does not violate the constitution. MB MP Hamdy Hassan, added that the callous reaction against the slogan comes under the orders of the ruling party and strips the HEC of the required impartiality and independence.
Political Science professor Hassan Nafaa, asserts that the NDP has embarked on a retaliatory campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood and does not want to forget that their party suffered from a very poor performance in 2005 where the MB secured 20% of the available seats in this election.
Nafaa stressed that the NDP has mustered itself, state-owned media channels, and security authorities against the Brotherhood ignoring avowals of fair competition.