ElBaradei calls for boycott of Egyptian parliamentary elections

Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammed ElBaradei, a key opposition leader in Egypt, has called for a boycott of the parliamentary elections to be held in April.

CNN:

In a tweet from his official account, he called for the boycott, just like he did three years ago.

"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," it read.

Egypt will hold parliamentary elections in several stages beginning April 27, President Mohamed Morsy's presidential team announced Thursday on state TV.

These will be the first elections since Egypt's highest court dissolved the lower house of parliament in June, and it will be the first full parliament in Morsy's presidency. The upper house, the Shura Council, has continued to meet.

The election process will take place in four stages: April 27-28, May 15-16 and June 2-3 and 19-20, according to the official decree released by the president's spokesman, Yassir Ali.

Runoffs will be held one week after each stage.

The House of Representatives, the lower house in Egypt's bicameral system, will hold its first session July 6, the decree said.

The first stage of the parliamentary elections will include the five governorates of Cairo, Beheira, Minya, Port Said and North Sinai.

In the past year, violent clashes in Port Said, a coastal province along the Suez Canal, have highlighted the longstanding resentment residents there feel toward Cairo.

Previous elections have been held in three stages, rather than four.

On Friday, ElBaradei tweeted: Morsy's "decision to go for parliamentary elections amidst severe societal polarization & eroding state authority is a recipe for disaster."

Morsi just pushed through a new electoral law that pretty mich guarantees an Islamist status quo:

The new law bars members of parliament from changing their political affiliation once they are elected. Under ousted president Hosni Mubarak, independents were often cajoled into joining the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), which monopolized parliament and political life before the 2011 revolution.

The law also stipulates that one third of the lower house should be designated for independents and bans former members of the now defunct NDP from participating in politics for at least 10 years.

It hardly matters. If the Islamists don't want a candidate from another party running, they will make sure he doesn't. The intimidation of political opponents during the last elections included breaking up opposition candidate rallies, drowning out opposition speakers, and making sure voters knew who to mark their ballots for.

The secular and liberal parties are so small that any boycott they initiate is likely to fail.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammed ElBaradei, a key opposition leader in Egypt, has called for a boycott of the parliamentary elections to be held in April.

CNN:

In a tweet from his official account, he called for the boycott, just like he did three years ago.

"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," it read.

Egypt will hold parliamentary elections in several stages beginning April 27, President Mohamed Morsy's presidential team announced Thursday on state TV.

These will be the first elections since Egypt's highest court dissolved the lower house of parliament in June, and it will be the first full parliament in Morsy's presidency. The upper house, the Shura Council, has continued to meet.

The election process will take place in four stages: April 27-28, May 15-16 and June 2-3 and 19-20, according to the official decree released by the president's spokesman, Yassir Ali.

Runoffs will be held one week after each stage.

The House of Representatives, the lower house in Egypt's bicameral system, will hold its first session July 6, the decree said.

The first stage of the parliamentary elections will include the five governorates of Cairo, Beheira, Minya, Port Said and North Sinai.

In the past year, violent clashes in Port Said, a coastal province along the Suez Canal, have highlighted the longstanding resentment residents there feel toward Cairo.

Previous elections have been held in three stages, rather than four.

On Friday, ElBaradei tweeted: Morsy's "decision to go for parliamentary elections amidst severe societal polarization & eroding state authority is a recipe for disaster."

Morsi just pushed through a new electoral law that pretty mich guarantees an Islamist status quo:

The new law bars members of parliament from changing their political affiliation once they are elected. Under ousted president Hosni Mubarak, independents were often cajoled into joining the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), which monopolized parliament and political life before the 2011 revolution.

The law also stipulates that one third of the lower house should be designated for independents and bans former members of the now defunct NDP from participating in politics for at least 10 years.

It hardly matters. If the Islamists don't want a candidate from another party running, they will make sure he doesn't. The intimidation of political opponents during the last elections included breaking up opposition candidate rallies, drowning out opposition speakers, and making sure voters knew who to mark their ballots for.

The secular and liberal parties are so small that any boycott they initiate is likely to fail.

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