- Middle East/North Africa
With the majority of student union elections concluded at universities around the country, liberals and independents have come out on top, winning 66 percent of the seats in 21 public universities, while Muslim Brotherhood candidates won only 34 percent. Elections are yet to be held at Port Said University.
The General Union of Egypt’s Students (GUES) is now set to be formed within a month. Forty-eight students will sit on the council as the heads and deputy heads of the student unions of a total of 22 public universities. Six additional seats would be allocated to students representing Al-Azhar University and select private universities.
According to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, the GUES would likely be comprised of 19 students representing the independent sector, 17 students from the Muslim Brotherhood and another eight coming from different political movements.
This year’s results contrast strongly with last year, when Muslim Brotherhood students swept the unions of 12 public universities. Brotherhood union leaders drafted and implemented the GUES bylaws, which were widely criticized by students from secular parties.
This year’s student unions will only be in power for 80 days, as the academic year is due to end on 13 June. The Supreme Council of Universities and the Cabinet were late to endorse the election results, shortening the amount of time the student councils have to work.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm