News / Middle East

Egypt's ElBaradei Urges Election Boycott

Mohamed El-Baradei speaks during an interview in his Cairo home, November 24, 2012 file photo.
Mohamed El-Baradei speaks during an interview in his Cairo home, November 24, 2012 file photo.
Edward Yeranian
Egypt's top opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei is calling Saturday for a boycott of the country's upcoming parliamentary elections. A spokesman for the opposition National Salvation Front says the group, as a whole, will decide on its position in the next couple of days.

ElBaradei, who is the symbolic head of the opposition National Salvation Front, called for the boycott on his Twitter account, saying that he was not willing to be part of a “sham democracy.”

He called the upcoming parliamentary elections “an act of deception,” and reminded his supporters that he had also urged a boycott of the 2010 parliamentary elections under former President Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak's ruling National Party won most of the seats in that vote which was tainted by widespread fraud.

The main opposition spokesman, Khaled Dawoud, indicated that the 11 party National Salvation Front would meet on Monday or Tuesday to make a final decision on what position to take.

He noted that the parties were worried that the Islamist government of President Mohamed Morsi would commit the same sorts of electoral fraud as Mubarak did. He insisted that the opposition would like guarantees from Mr. Morsi that that would not happen:

He asks how can elections be held in Port Said, for example, if that city is still in the midst of a (an ongoing) civil disobedience campaign and how can there be a four-stage electoral process if there is some doubt that the judiciary will oversee the elections?

President Morsi issued a decree late Thursday, stating that the parliamentary election would be held in four stages, beginning on April 27. Various opposition groups are complaining that stages of the vote were deliberately scheduled for Palm Sunday and Easter, according to the Coptic orthodox calendar.

Omar Ashour, who teaches political science at the University of Exeter in Britain, insists that those elections held since the overthrow of Mr. Mubarak have been clean elections and that he believes the upcoming vote will be as well:

“Probably the [opposition which] has consistently lost in the last four elections wants to spoil the game," he said. "They don't see a way to power via elections, so their only way is either to boycott or to undermine the whole electoral process.”

Ashour argues that the Egyptian judiciary, which he says is “not friends with the Muslim Brotherhood,” and international monitors will oversee the parliamentary elections, indicating that the vote will in fact be fair.

A large segment of Egypt's judiciary, however, boycotted the December constitutional referendum, which opposition figures claimed was unfair. The opposition is also demanding that Egypt's new top prosecutor be removed, for alleged sympathies with the Islamist government and that a neutral national unity government be appointed to oversee the vote in April.

You May Like

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
February 23, 2013 10:56 PM
Failing to participate in a election, even if it is skewed, just will give the country away with out a proper justification. What is the alternative? Egypt needs a full unity gvmt, to get itself out of an accelerating economic decline. All sides, irrespective of polarity, need to put Egypt first; unfortunately, if such a unity gvmt is not put in place, Egypt has the potential to become a failed state, through a similar desintegrating process we observe in Syria's failing.

by: Ramez from: Egypt
February 23, 2013 4:17 PM
I do believe that the opposition alliance is no better than MB. They are worse. They are seeking power over the destruction and collapse of Egypt. They are calling people to continue their peaceful demonstration!!. Sorry.. what peaceful!! Don't they have any sense of what is going on? Don't they care about the people who were killed and continue to be killed? Don't they care about the continuous destruction to private and public properties? Don't they realize that Egypt is on the verge to collapse? The fact is they only seek to grab the power whatever the price is, who cares. They are as unwise as the MB who were aiming to get control on everything and neglecting the immediate needs of people (specially the poor) who voted for them. Morsi was democratically elected but he was chosen as the best of the worst. This is due to the selfishness of the opposition leaders who refused to make a coalition because everyone wants the chair. They are stupidly repeating the same mistake. The MB party will merely get 20 to 25% on the next election because they lost a lot of their credibility even among their previous supporters. Get united and get the majority in the parliament instead of encouraging people to foolishly demonstrate and demolish the country. I'd rather prefer that the army take control temporarily and restore stability rather than the country falling apart between two unqualified rivals.. So shut up Baradei..

by: Mahmud Abbas from: Egypt
February 23, 2013 10:45 AM
Hey America, ElBaradei is nothing here - less than a joke... he is regarded as a comic relief... he is nothing but a Western Media manufactured dummy. he has no power base - no Egyptian follows this UN fool... so please stop quoting this comic fool as a voice of the "opposition" he is no such thing
In Response

by: Saleh from: Gaza
February 23, 2013 5:25 PM
I think that the Muslim Brotherhood are destroying Egyp.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs