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The leadership of several opposition parties condemned the midterm Shura Council elections, describing them as “widely rigged with heavy police intervention.”
The Shura Council elections serve as a lesson for both the opposition and the National Democratic Party which everyone should learn from, said Rafaat Saeed, chairperson of the Tagamaa Party. He refused to comment on whether his party will participate in the upcoming People’s Assembly elections. Saeed criticized the Supreme Election Council, comparing it to a secret operation where its members denied having received complaints about the polling process.
The elections saw cooperation between radio and television media and a number of opposition parties, but government media was biased toward the National Democratic Party candidates. Referring to the inability of representatives to supervise and observe the election process, Saeed said the representatives should be allowed to present their accreditations four days before the elections so they can be reviewed. After this, the representatives would receive the validated accreditations 48 hours before the elections.
The Wafd Party in a statement yesterday said the recent Shura Council elections were just like all other previous elections, with the NDP being responsible for the neglect of even the most basic tenets of democracy. The party accused the NDP of using all the tools of government and of engaging in “terrorism and intimidation.”
Osama el-Ghazali Harb, chairperson of the Democratic Front Party, expressed his sadness over contraventions of electoral norms that occurred during the election, calling them a complete farce. The election fraud that took place proves that the NDP has no intention of pursuing a program of political reform, he said, noting that the great majority of Egyptians boycotted the elections because they knew their votes were already recorded regardless of whether they actually went to the polling stations.
“What happened is the best proof that the Democratic Front Party’s decision to boycott the elections was completely sound, but I was saddened by the participation of a number of the opposition parties in the elections, as this imbued them with a legitimacy they did not deserve,” he added.
Ahmad Hasan, General Secretary of the Nasserite Party, refused to comment on the elections, saying, “I have no comment on the Shura elections, for what happened speaks for itself.”
Mamduh Qanawi, chairman of the Free Constitution Party, described the Shura elections as a “funeral for democracy in Egypt,” noting that his party nominated three candidates for election to test the NDP and whether it truly intended for the elections to be fair. Qanawi stressed that the election was a lie, and said, “How is the ruling party harmed if ten candidates from the opposition parties and the organization that it considers to be prohibited (The Muslim Brotherhood) win seats?” Qanawi criticized the absence of judicial supervision over the elections, saying, “The Supreme Electoral Council was just for show.”
Translated from the Arabic Edition.