NAC talks election boycott with MB, opposition groups

National Association for Change (NAC) General Coordinator Hassan Nafaa met with Muslim Brotherhood (MB) General Guide Mohamed Badie and other top MB leaders on Wednesday to discuss major opposition groups’ respective positions on a potential boycott of the upcoming People’s Assembly elections.

Nafaa told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the participants in the meeting touched on all the pressing political issues currently facing Egypt and that the Brotherhood was a member organization of the NAC. He stressed that several of these issues demand the attention and opinion of the Brotherhood’s General Guide.

According to Nafaa, the Brotherhood was ready to accept any collective position adopted by the opposition towards the coming elections, including a boycott if it was supported by consensus. The NAC Coordinator indicated that the association would send a delegation to the Wafd Party headquarters next Monday to discuss a potential boycott with its party leadership.

Muslim Brotherhood Parliamentary Bloc Spokesperson Hamdy Hassan stated that the bloc supported NAC leader Mohamed ElBaradei’s call for an opposition boycott of the People’s Assembly elections, saying it highlighted the opposition’s anger over the manner in which the regime has rigged past elections.

Hassan added that the Brotherhood and opposition parties would hold talks over the coming days to determine the opposition’s final decision on the matter. The Brotherhood would join an election boycott if it was upheld by all the opposition factions, he declared, noting however that if any of the parties decided to participate in the elections, the Brotherhood would participate as well, using all the resources at its disposal.

News that the Brotherhood was considering an election boycott provoked a wide range of reactions in Egyptian political circles. The majority of observers said that the talk of a boycott was merely a ploy by the organization to pressure the regime into a dialogue with the organization to allow the Brotherhood to win a similar number of seats as it did in 2005.

The Brotherhood “are feeling the pulse of the government,” stated Constitutional Party Chairman Mamduh Qanawi. If they are convinced that the regime will allow them to win some seats in the People’s Assembly then they will participate in the elections.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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