Election Victory with No Glory
|Monday, December 6,2010 20:45|
It comes as no surprise that Mubarak’s NDP claims it will win unchallenged after the two largest opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood with its extensive following, boycotted a contest they insist was rigged.
The MB, which controlled one fifth of the outgoing parliament but won no seats in the first round of elections held on November 28, says it is boycotting the runoffs because the government is not listening to the people anyway.
With comments expressing ‘disapproval’, even the US acknowledged the NDP’s ballot box stuffing, vote rigging, and intimidation of voters and candidates by hired thugs. In a newly-leaked US Embassy cable, American officials express their concern about three senior Muslim Brotherhood members in Egypt being arrested. The cable, dated February 2010, indicates that US officials are paying more and more attention to Egyptian domestic politics, saying that this could backfire on the regime and arouse more sympathy for the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, the most popular and respected opposition in Egypt and the only one with a clear policy of no-violence. With the Muslim Brotherhood and Wafd party out of the game, the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) is set to secure most parliamentary seats.
The Brotherhood’s boycotting of the elections was applauded by many of their candidates and supporters as an act of protest to the fraud, brutality and outright corruption at the hands of the regime. Described as a sham, a disgrace and a slander against the Egyptian people, the elections will serve to pave the way for the regime to make steady headway toward the 2011 presidential elections. Sidelining the Brotherhood from the formal political arena, means the regime has swept aside one opposition group while all the time thinking it is moving steadily toward victory in securing the presidential seat to one of its NDP members. However, mounting international concern over the way the elections were conducted overshadows the NDP’s easily-obtained victory – some would say ‘too’ easy – and casts grave doubt on the regime’s ability to conduct any serious democratic exercise.
As Mubarak, now 82 years old, has no designated successor, the NDP is squeezing out any critics to ensure an easy ride to the presidential elections scheduled for 2011. Many Egyptians are concerned that Mubarak may be grooming his 46-year-old son for the position but analysts say Gamal Mubarak lacks the common touch and, without army experience, may struggle to win over the military. All this is happening while many people in Egypt refuse the idea of inherited leadership.
With the NDP winning 209 seats, other opposition parties winning just 12 and the Brotherhood absolutely none, the elections are essentially seen as a fraud, a waste of time, a waste of money and resources and many are calling ‘foul’, saying the whole thing is a non-event. However, if the Muslim Brotherhood had not taken part in the elections, the world would not have witnessed the abuses committed against voters by the Egypt’s ruling regime.
In a bid to squeeze out the Brotherhood, who sees that the best way to change the system is from within, the ruling party fielded many more candidates than seats for this election and are now pitted against each other. In a political party that has few, if any morals, and are prepared to do anything to obtain and retain power, the NDP is now competing against each other.
The moderate voice of the Brotherhood has been largely drowned out by the riotous indecent behaviour of the regime, who determined to avoid anything resembling an Islamic state, has foolishly, perhaps inadvertently opened the door for militants to emerge.