NSF to reject unfair parliamentary elections

NSF to reject unfair parliamentary elections

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Tue, 19/02/2013 - 19:24

The National Salvation Front said Tuesday it will reject parliamentary elections unless authorities guarantee they will be fair and subject to international monitoring.

The announcement came after a three-hour closed meeting that included Dostour chief Mohamed ElBaradei, Wafd Party leader Al-Sayed al-Badawy and Freedom and Justice Party Chairman Saad al-Katatny.

Hamdeen Sabbahi, founder of the Popular Current Party, did not attend.

Meanwhile, NSF leaders and other political parties admitted it would be difficult to hold parliamentary elections after the Constitutional Court found several articles of the new elections law unconstitutional. The Shura Council has been tasked to amend the regulations.

“The Constitution was born dead,” said Mostafa al-Tawil, the honorary president of the Wafd Party. “The regime is improvising with no consideration or respect for people's desires.”

“The Muslim Brotherhood made a tailored constitution that is full of loopholes,” he added. “The Constitutional Court’s response was expected.”

For his part, Refaat al-Saeed of the Tagammu Party said the Shura Council is unlikely to abide by the court's ruling. “This is the chaos we live in now,” he said.

Osama al-Ghazaly Harb of the Gabha Party called on the NSF to boycott the elections, saying, “Otherwise, [the NSF] would succumb to the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said, contending that the Islamists are lost much of their popularity.

Sameh Ashour of the Nasserist Party called for the postponement of the elections until national consensus is reached.

“The Shura Council will introduce cosmetic amendments to the law,” said NSF member Wahid Abdel Meguid. “And the government will get on with what it is doing.”

After the meeting, the NSF called for a neutral government that had the support of numerous parties and was able to solve Egypt's political gridlock.

It also said it holds the president responsible for the nation's economic and social deterioration as a result of interference from the Muslim Brotherhood.

The NSF added that the Nour Party's initiative to bring together opposing political factions could help the country move past its impasse.

Furthermore, the front called for the punishment of anyone convicted of killing protesters during recent unrest and that prosecutors should make these cases a top priority.

It requested the replacement of the prosecutor general with someone who could ensure the independence of the judiciary and work to amend controversial provisions of the Constitution.

The NSF concluded by denouncing all forms of violence.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm