Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood calls for election boycott

From ABC online, by Reuters 7/4/08:

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition force, has called on Egyptians overnight (Australian time) to boycott local council elections due tomorrow in protest at the disqualification of most of its candidates.

....Husain Mohamed Ibrahim, deputy leader of the Brotherhood's parliamentary block, said:"... we call on our public to boycott these rigged elections, which the judiciary has already ruled should not be held."

"Participating in this farcical theatre would have given it legitimacy," Brotherhood lawmaker Mohamed El-Beltaugi told a news conference to announce the boycott.

The Government calls the Brotherhood a banned organisation but allows it to operate within limits. The Islamist movement won about a fifth of the seats in parliament in 2005, making it the de facto leading opposition group.

Founded in 1928, it advocates turning Egypt into an Islamic state through the ballot box.
The local councils have little power, but the Brotherhood would need to have seats on provincial councils if it ever wanted to field an independent candidate for the Egyptian presidency.

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