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

Russia Names US NGO 'Undesirable'

Prosecutors determine activities of National Endowment for Democracy to be 'undesirable,' paving the way for it to be outlawed on Russian territory More

Erdogan Vows 'Anti-Terror' Campaign in Syria, Iraq

Erdogan expressed confidence the 'necessary steps' will be taken by NATO leaders, who will meet Tuesday at Turkey's request More

North Korea: 'No Interest at All' in Nuke Deal

Senior US envoy Sydney Seiler visits Beijing Tuesday for talks on how to revive the stalled six-party nuclear talks with North Korea 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.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs