- Middle East/North Africa
Muslim Brotherhood university students have received a fresh blow after losing to independent candidates for student union elections at Ain Shams University.
The Brotherhood won only nine seats out of 70 at the faculty of pharmacy, while the independent Khatwa bloc obtained 60 seats. The remaining seat went to an unaffiliated candidate.
The Brotherhood ended the race empty handed at the Faculty of Arts, with the Sofa Coalition sweeping 28 seats with 1400 votes.
At the Faculty of Medicine, the Brotherhood won four seats, the Kayan list won 14 seats and the Strong Egypt Party won four seats.
The independent Basma list won 24 seats at the Faculty of Engineering, where the Brotherhood came out with only four seats.
Old union members at the Faculty of Education won 26 seats, while the independent New Vision occupied two seats.
At the Faculty of Science, Step by Step received 24 seats out of 28, with the remaining four going to the Brotherhood.
Independents won three seats unchallenged at the Faculty of Computer Science.
Dozens of students at the Faculty of Dentistry performed a Harlem Shake dance as the elections approached their end, gloating over the Brotherhood’s losses.
The Brotherhood had reportedly seen earlier defeats at government universities, including Alexandria and Assiut.
The preliminary results of the student's elections in most of the nation's state universities showed a major but unexplained defeat for the Muslim Brotherhood. Universities had regularly been a major social support base for the Muslim Brotherhood during the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak.
The failures come as the Brotherhood faces mounting political indignation and criticism that it is seeking to monopolize all aspects of power.
The results also come after the Ministry of Higher Education approved an unpopular law governing student unions in February, which many unions say was issued without them being consulted.
The new law threatens to regulate student activity at higher education institutions. Students have questioned the legitimacy of the drafters and demanded more representation on decision-making panels.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm