Egypt's opposition to boycott parliamentary polls, dialogue
Cairo: Egypt's main opposition umbrella group - the National Salvation Front - today announced that it would boycott the upcoming parliamentary polls to be held from April and a national dialogue called by President Mohamed Mursi.
"Called for parliamentary election boycott in 2010 to expose sham democracy. Today I repeat my call, will not be part of an act of deception," Nobel Laureate Mohamed El Bardai, a leading figure from the NSF, wrote on his Twitter handle.
The former IAEA chief said elections in the current circumstances would result in chaos expressing fear this would trigger the re-intriduction of the army to the political scene once again.
The parliamentary elections will take place over four phases, starting on 22 April and ending on 24 June.
The decision to boycott the election was made unanimously during an NSF meeting held today, said Sameh Ashour, head of the lawyers syndicate.
On 18 February, the High Constitutional Court (HCC) ruled that as many as 10 articles of two draft laws regulating parliamentary polls run counter to the newly-approved constitution.
However, the Islamist-led upper house of Parliament passed the law as is without amendment, despite the HCC's ruling.
The government also did not show its intention to provide guarantees that the electoral process will be fair, Ashour was quoted as saying by the 'Ahram Online'.
The NSF also decided to boycott a national dialogue meeting called for by Mursi, describing it as an insult to protesters slain in recent violent clashes.
"No dialogue should be held over the dead bodies of our martyrs," Ashour said.
Last week, the NSF announced a set of pre-conditions for dialogue with the presidency, including taking "serious steps" towards the prosecution of those responsible for protesters' deaths by assigning judges to investigate such crimes, along with the formation of a new government of national unity.
According to the report, the NSF had also insisted on several previous pre-conditions, including the appointment of a new prosecutor-general in accordance with the constitution and judicial independence; amending Egypt's new constitution; postponing upcoming parliamentary polls; and guaranteeing judicial and international oversight of upcoming elections.