Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more



Egypt Special: On the Eve of a Pretend Election?

On Sunday, Egyptian voters will nominally go to the polls to decide who should lead them in Parliament. In reality, the arrangements are in place for Hosni Mubarak to claim a sixth term in next year's Presidential election, beginning his fourth decade in charge.

Mohammad ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the Initiative for Change have not emerged as a viable challenger. Some opposition parties are boycotting the poll in protest at what they claim is manipulation and suppression of political freedom.

The Muslim Brotherhood, in a change of policy, decided to enter the contest, but it is banned by the Government. A cat-and-mouse game has ensued: members of the Brotherhood have tried to stand as independents, only to be disqualified, and more than 1000 Brotherhood supporters have been arrested. The Brotherhood has 130 candidates registered as independents left in the race for 508 seats, but on Thursday, the ruling National Democratic Party filed complaints with the Public Prosecutor to bar 52 of them.

The battle is also between the judiciary and the High Elections Commission, which is appointed by the legislature currently dominated by Mubarak's NDP. This week Egyptian courts ordered the cancellation of the parliamentary ballot in 24 of Egypt's 254 districts after orders to reinstate opposition and independent candidates were ignored by the Commission. 

The Wafd, Egypt's historic nationalist party, may make some gains beyond the six seats it took in 2005, but even this is being seen as token opposition. Claims are being made "that the regime had promised Wafd as many as 25 to 30 seats if it acted as a 'fair opposition', meaning that it 'cannot oppose any ruling or law without proposing specific alternatives'".

The Egyptian Government has rejected Washington's calls, including a personal request by President Obama, for election monitors.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

« The Latest from Iran (27 November): Breaking News --- Supreme Leader is Fabulous | Main | Egypt Special: What is the Significance of the Latest Christian Protests? (Iskander) »

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>