Mubarak's government in Egypt has played a win at all costs game of parliamentary elections going beyond blatant fraud to violence, intimidation and false arrests.
According to the Muslim brotherhood, the main opposition has failed to win any seats outright in the first round of voting and only 21 out of 130 candidates feel sure of making it to the run-off elections. Egypt's investigations commission says it will investigate fraud claims.
In this regard, Press TV interviewed Political Analyst and Middle East Expert Zayd al-Isa. Following is the transcript of the interview.
Press TV: The opposition is saying it has failed to get its parliamentary seats because of the election fraud. What do you make of the political situation on the ground in Egypt?
Zayd al-Isa: The opposition is mainly the Muslim brotherhood. Although it's not allowed to run officially, but some independent candidates have said all along that the election would not be fair and would not be free and it could be marred by violence and intimidation - and that has happened; it has actually taken place.
There are concerned reports by human rights groups that widespread violence, intimidation, and beatings took place and there are concerned reports of polling stations being shut down and polling boxes being stuffed to the rim only minutes after the election had started.
There were no local monitors allowed in; no representatives of opposition parties were allowed to monitor the elections and this was after the reassurance from Mubarak's party that the elections would be fair and would be free. This basically signaled a determination of the Mubarak party to squeeze out opposition - any opposition that might actually appear to be a nomination. Mubarak again wanted to root out basically the main opposition, which is the Muslim brotherhood because it has been the most vocal; it has been the most outspoken about the practices of the government and reelection of Mubarak or actually giving his son the chance to run for president.
These elections paved the way for a parliament, which is completely free from the Muslim brotherhood and also free from any opposition within the parliament to stand up for the rights of people or to represent their worries.
Press TV: What do you think will happen to Muslim brother hood? They used to have one fifth of parliament and now only 21 are saying that they may make to the parliament. What will become of that opposition group?
Zayd al-Isa: We could say it has been a huge setback and a serious blow for the Muslim brotherhood, which has contested 30% of the seats, bearing in mind that it actually won 20% of the seats of the last election, which was in 2005. But authorities have pre-determined and have planned that the successes that they (Muslim brotherhood) have achieved in 2005 will not actually take place this time and that's why they have planned to squeeze out all opposition by using the methods of violence, intimidation, beatings and actually arresting and detaining the candidates of the Muslim brotherhood before the elections could take place.
That's why we've been on the streets of Egypt and particularly Alexandria - huge demonstrations with people frustrated with the predicted results of the elections because anyone on the streets of Cairo could have told you that the elections have been rigged and that they are simply stage-managed and there is nothing genuine about the elections and that's why the turnout has been very very low. A lot of people did not even bother to leave their homes to the ballots because they thought it was absolutely useless and a futile exercise when the result is fully known.