- 2010 election update
- December 8, 2010
- 10 minutes read
When Is Enough, Enough?
Egypt’s government, tightening its grip on power to ensure a smooth transition when Mubarak leaves the political arena, swept parliament in what observers describe as blatant fraud and a ‘test run for oppression’. Aging Mubarak and his NDP are getting away with it as the US sits back to see what will happen at next year’s presidential elections. The Mubarak dictatorship did not allow any views contradicting its own to be voiced, let alone prevail. The regime’s candidates won 95 per cent of seats, while allegations of ballot box stuffing and vote rigging were so rampant that the MB, followed by the Wafd party, boycotted Sunday’s runoffs, further damaging the government’s already waning credibility.
Officially banned, but enjoying popular power, the Muslim Brotherhood remains consistent in its determination to criticize the government’s electoral misdemeanours and expose them to the world, justifying its participation in the elections that their role is to expose crimes and make the necessary reforms. The National Association for Change and the Muslim Brotherhood will team up to further work for positive and peaceful change.
Egyptians struggle under Mubarak’s 30-year-old Emergency Law, which prohibits free assembly and campaigning. Many people in Egypt often fall under the hands of Mubarak’s state security apparatus whose role it is to ensure Mubarak’s NDP remains in power. As a gesture of discontent, many Egyptians did not even bother to cast their vote; voter turnout is estimated to have fallen below 15 per cent. Meanwhile the US is deciding whether to press for democracy or sit silently and avoid upsetting a government that has maintained stability in Egypt for three decades.
But the Egyptians are not content with the increasing cost of living, unemployment, vote rigging and the elderly Mubarak being succeeded by his son, Gamal, which would be another form of autocratic nepotism. Although Egypt is comparatively tolerant with its opposition than other neighboring Arab states, there were mass arrests of MB members and supporters prior to the elections along with a brutal response to campaigns and rallies and intimidation of voters. When ascertaining the extent of their freedom and the tolerance of their government, are Egyptians to compare their condition with eccentric and violent Arab neighbors or their Western allies?
The Egyptian regime uses a heavy hand, saying this is the only way to control radicalism, but in denying the MB a fair race and pushing them aside in the political arena, the government may well be opening the door to groups, including Islamists that do not have the no-violence policy of the MB.
Even though the 2010 elections were supposed to show how strong the government is, it, in fact, showed its weakness.