Egypt polls: President calls for dialogue with opposition
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Last Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013, 17:55
  
Cairo: Amid calls for Parliamentary Elections boycott, Egyptian President Muhammed Mursi has reached out to the opposition parties inviting them to a national dialogue to discuss guarantees for "fair and transparent" polls.

"I tell everyone of all colours of the spectrum, to all dear brothers in different parties across Egypt, I approach them by name, by party, by persons to sit tomorrow and put down guarantees for transparent and fair elections," Mursi said in an interview to Mehwar channel on Sunday.

Egypt's Parliamentary Elections, previously scheduled to begin on April 27, have been brought forward to start on April 22, and will go on till June.

Meanwhile, key Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei has urged Mursi not to go ahead with the elections.

ElBaradei said the elections risked bringing chaos and instability, and possibly military intervention. He said that his party would "not participate in a sham poll".

ElBaradei said he expected other groups in the opposition National Salvation Front (NSF) coalition to follow suit with a boycott when they meet tomorrow.

"We need to send a message loud and clear to the people here and outside of Egypt that this is not a democracy, that we have not participated in an uprising two years ago to end up with a recycling of the (Hosni) Mubarak regime," ElBaradei was quoted by the BBC as saying.

"Torture is still there, abduction is still there, a lack of social justice is still there," ElBaradei said.

He said elections should not be held in April in a society that was "completely polarised".

To do so, he said, would risk setting the country on a "road to total chaos and instability" and that the intervention of the army might then be common sense, to stabilise the situation until the political process could be resumed.

"If Egypt is on the brink of default, if law and order is absent, (the army) have a national duty to intervene," ElBaradei said.

He said the basic problem was that Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood had spent 80 years in opposition, and was now "intoxicated with power".

PTI


First Published: Monday, February 25, 2013, 17:54


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