Egypt Brotherhood seeks int’l support over elections

Egypt’s main opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood, said it was gathering evidence of vote-rigging and other abuses in last month’s parliamentary elections and would alert international human rights groups.

By (Reuters)

Published: Sun 12 Dec 2010, 8:40 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 6:01 AM

It also said it would turn to Egypt’s constitutional and higher administrative courts to call for the dissolution of the new parliament and a re-run of elections.

The Brotherhood, which controlled a fifth of seats in the outgoing parliament, boycotted the second stage of the elections after a first round it said was rigged in favour of President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).

The NDP secured about 80 percent of seats, based on final figures released by the elections commission, compared with about 70 percent in the last parliament. “We will address those organisations concerned with human rights and upholding basic civil protections with which Egypt has signed agreements,” said Sobhi Saleh, a Brotherhood member and former member of parliament.

Saleh said bodies such as the United Nations and Human Rights Watch would be contacted.

His statements follow a conference the Brotherhood held on Saturday to discuss what it termed “blatant fraud” and intimidation in the elections.

Egyptian law forbids religious parties, so the Islamist movement fields candidates as independents. It said none of its candidates stood in the run-offs because of the boycott, although 26 had made it through the first round.

Wafd party, the second biggest opposition bloc in the outgoing parliament, said on Saturday it would “freeze” the memberships of seven of its party members who had won seats in the new parliament after refusing to join the party’s boycott of the election, state news agency MENA reported.

Egypt’s Parliament has a total of 518 members, of whom 10 are appointed by the president. Of 508 seats contested, the NDP won 420, while 70 went to independent candidates and 14 to other parties.

Results of the other four seats have not been announced because of violations in the voting process, according to a commission official.

“The voting results of more than 92 electoral constituencies are void,” Saleh said. He added that the Brotherhood would publish a book documenting the violations it said took place.

Egypt,is due to hold its second multi-candidate poll for the presidency next year. Mubarak has not yet said if he will seek a sixth term next year.

More news from WORLD