News / Africa

Egypt's Islamic-Led Bloc Threatens Vote Boycott

A coalition led by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has threatened to boycott parliament elections scheduled for late November unless the country's military rulers amend a disputed new electoral law.

A joint statement posted Wednesday on the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party website demanded changes that would effectively prevent many supporters of former president Hosni Mubarak from running for office.

The bloc objects to a controversial measure under which political parties are not allowed to contest a third of the seats in parliament, which are reserved for independent candidates.  Many Egyptian political groups say the restriction would make it easier for former members of Mubarak's now-banned National Democratic Party to run.

The statement was signed by the Democratic Alliance, a large electoral coalition that includes Freedom and Justice - Egypt's most powerful political party - as well as the liberal Wafd Party.

The alliance also demanded the ruling military council pass a law that would ban officials involved in the misuse of power under Mr. Mubarak from running in elections for the next 10 years.

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States would like to see Egypt’s interim administration end emergency rule as soon as possible.  

Clinton suggested Egypt's democratic transition would be impeded if emergency rule is not lifted sooner than the June 2012 date set by the military.  The widely despised law was tightened after a mob attack earlier this month on the Israeli embassy in Cairo.

The top U.S. diplomat praised Egypt's leaders for helping defuse tensions with Israel after the September 9 assault and acknowledged the key role it expects Cairo to play in forging a Mideast peace accord.

Clinton's Egyptian counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, said his country would like to see Israel and the Palestinians resume direct peace negotiations as soon as possible. Amr also called Israeli settlement activity an impediment to peace that must be stopped.

Earlier Wednesday, an Egyptian court sentenced former information minister Anas al-Fiqqi to seven years in prison on corruption charges for squandering public money.

The Cairo court also handed down a five-year sentence to former state television chief Osama el-Sheikh on similar charges.  Egyptian courts have already convicted several other members of Mr. Mubarak's government.

The former president himself is on trial for corruption, abuse of power and complicity in the killing of protesters during the 18-day uprising that led to his resignation earlier this year.   He has denied the charges.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid