Egypt Islamists condemn `irregularities` ahead of vote

Last Updated: Sunday, May 30, 2010 - 21:07

Cairo: The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt`s
largest opposition group, Sunday denounced "corruption and
irregularities" ahead of Tuesday`s elections for parliament`s
upper house.

"When we decided to field candidates in this election,
we thought the regime would keep some of its promises and was
sincere," the group`s supreme guide Mohammed Badie told
reporters, in reference to government vows of holding
free and fair elections.

"Unfortunately, it has disappointed the people and
has returned to its original path of violating the
constitution and the law, and the rights of candidates and
voters," he said.

Badie condemned the "corruption and irregularities,"
in the run-up to the election, saying security officials had
"removed posters of our candidates and chased them and their
supporters to prevent them from campaigning and meeting
their constituents."

"It has reached the stage of besieging the homes of
the candidates," he said.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which is officially banned,
will be fielding around a dozen candidates as independents in
the mid-term election for the Shura Council, the upper house
of Egypt`s bicameral legislature which is dominated by
President Hosni Mubarak`s National Democratic Party.

The Shura, a primarily advisory body, is made up of
264 members of whom 176 are directly elected and 88 are
appointed by the president. Membership is on a rotating basis,
with one third of the council renewed every three years.

The vote is unlikely to reshape the political
landscape, with analysts expecting a low voter turnout.

Some 446 candidates are to run for 74 seats in 55
electoral constituencies, Intissar Nesmi, head of the High
Elections Commission told reporters. Fourteen seats are not
being contested.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, May 30, 2010 - 21:07

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