Reuters: Egypt’s Islamists Sees Election Setback in 2010
|Friday, August 8,2008 09:20|
|By with comment by Ikhwanweb|
Fresh elections are not due before 2010, but the Brotherhood"s deputy leader, Mohamed Habib, told Reuters on Thursday election rigging and recent steps to prevent its members seeking elected office were bad omens for the future.
"Of course we will not achieve what we achieved in 2005," Habib said in an interview at the group"s
The Brotherhood is officially banned but is allowed to operate openly by the government. Its members run for office as independents.
It won roughly a fifth of the seats in parliament at a time when the
The group accuses the authorities of rigging elections in favour of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). The government denies this charge.
"The authorities work to rig the elections 100 percent of the time," Habib said. "(But) we have no other way of work other than the peaceful approach and the ballot box."
The Brotherhood says its aim is to establish an Islamic state in
Analysts say the government wants to stop the group making more electoral gains that would help it mount a serious threat to the rule of President Hosni Mubarak.
But opposition activists have criticised the Brotherhood for taking blows from the government without responding, even through peaceful protests.
Habib said that reaching out to people by providing social services, and spreading Brotherhood values through members and sympathisers, was more effective than holding protests that the police would suppress.
He also played down the impact of the crackdown on the organisational and financial capabilities of the group.
"We are known for absorbing shocks, of being steadfast in the face of blows aimed at us," he said.
Habib said the group relied on an army of volunteers and contributions of its members to finance activities and spent much less money than its rivals on election campaigns.
Critics say this failure was clear when the streets of
Habib said many Egyptians fear government harassment if they get involved in politics.
"There is no such thing as the "silent group". There is a "scared group", and this fear makes it hesitate and refrain from participating," he said.
--End of Reuters Article
Habib Statement to Ikhwanweb on the 2010 Parliament Elections:
In a statement to Ikhwanweb, Dr. Mohamed Habib said the MB is committed to participation in Parliamentary and any other upcoming elections, despite the Egyptian regime’s crackdown.
“We will definitely take part in the 2010 parliamentary elections. However, it is difficult to foresee the same result as that of the 2005 election,” he told Ikhwanweb.
“Neither the MB or any other opposition force can achieve fair results in the next election so long as the regime insists on taking exceptional and suppressive measures against voices of change.”
The police state is increasingly consolidated, and judges are being sidelined, he added. “If something happens that changes this situation, only then can we be optimistic.”