Egypt's Opposition to run in next Parliamentary Elections



Cairo: Reversing its earlier stand, Egypt's main opposition alliance on Thursday said it would take part in Parliamentary Elections later this year so long as they are "free and fair".

The National Salvation Front, Egypt's largest coalition of secular opposition parties and groups, said in a statement today, it was preparing for elections to the House of Representatives, Parliament's lower house, and was also working to ensure the necessary guarantees of electoral fairness and transparency.

The NSF said elections are a key strategy to pull Egypt out of the current political crisis so long as they are free and fair.

"The Front affirms its lack of trust in the Muslim Brotherhood's domination of the executive and legislative branches of state, which manifests in the process of organising the elections and drafting election laws that clearly favour the Brotherhood through the division of electoral districts that conflicts with the Constitution they forced upon the people," the statement read.

The statement went on to condemn the increasing influence of the Brotherhood over the apparatus of the state through appointing members to important posts, specifically when it comes to local administration.

The NSF said that it saw this strategy as a preparation for forging upcoming election results.

"The Front also rejects the continued presence of the current prosecutor general after a court ordered the reversal of his appointment. We reject him not only because of his lack of legitimacy but also because his presence lowers our trust in the electoral process," the statement continued.

The Opposition coalition's statement also rejected calls for a protest tomorrow aiming to "purify the judiciary", referring to it as an attack on the judiciary because it refused to follow the Brotherhood's commands.

Finally, the NSF renewed its demands for guarantees of the upcoming poll's fairness through three main points: appointment of a new, politically neutral, government; appointment of a new prosecutor general through constitutional provisions; and allowing civil society and the media to fully monitor the elections without constraint.

The NSF had earlier said it would boycott elections to the House of Representatives in late February.

The elections have been suspended and will likely be held at a much later date then originally scheduled.

Today's statement, however, indicates a reversal of the decision to boycott elections.

Fears over the fairness of electoral laws have eased since the Shura Council, the Islamist-dominated upper house of Parliament, must run electoral bills by the Supreme Constitutional Court before passing them.

PTI