Gov’t Imposes Restrictions on MB Labor Unions Candidates
|Thursday, September 28,2006 00:00|
|By Saed Abbady|
Once the Egyptian workers belonging to Muslim Brotherhood determined to stand for the imminent Labor Unions elections, the authorities have come to launch their usual campaign by putting impediments trying to halt their campaign.
As the election campaigns draw near, the state owned companies, in collaboration with the security agencies, have taken tough measures against MB candidates, as is the case with the Alexandria Textile Company which transferred its MB candidates to remote work places accusing them of distributing handouts about Ramadan without prior permission from the company’s management.
The candidates decided to take their case to court so that it reinstates them in their jobs. “These security measures support the claims that the government is intending on rigging the elections”, MB member of Parliament Mr. Saber Abul Fotouh (picture), who said in an exclusive statement to Ikhwanweb that the State Security Investigators (SSI) have recently summoned 16 MB labor unionists who are expected to be candidates for the trade unions councils, in an attempt to pressure them to give up their candidacies.
On the number of the MB candidates to stand for the election, Abul Fotouh declined to give a specific number, but he affirmed that the group will field candidates in all workplaces.
Reiterating what the group has said during parliamentary elections; the deputy said that the group aims to “cooperate rather than overshadow other political forces in the country” he said.
On whether the MB intends to form alliances with other political forces, Abul Fotouh said that group is leaving the door open and it is up to the other political forces to determine if they want to join us”. He also added that the other political forces haven’t adopted a specific position toward this issue
On what the group intends to do if the government fails to allow the judiciary to monitor the election process, Abul Fotouh said that the group hopes for is a fair and free election regardless of the mechanisms used to monitor the election process
Abul Fotouh stated that "If the elections lacked transparency, the MB will take the case to court, which could render the whole election process as null and void as was the case with recent elections. The other alternative will be for the MB to declare a free labor union organization parallel to the state owned one", citing France and Switzerland and other countries which have such free labor unions.
It is noted that that about 20 of the candidates in the labor unions election are already incumbent members of Parliament. Abul Fotouh dismissed as groundless claims that the MB has a thin presence among workers, drawing an example of the previous election when 50% of MB candidates were expuged from the candidates lists, affirming that in case of fair and free election, the Muslim Brotherhood could easily garner 70 % of the labor union councils’ seats.