Egypt opposition wants boycott of vote
CAIRO — Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei called on Saturday for a boycott of parliamentary elections, even as the vote, scheduled to begin on April 27, was brought forward to April 22.
Members of Egypt's Coptic Christian minority had criticized the planned timing of the elections because some voting would take place during their Easter holiday.
A presidential spokesman posted the change on his Facebook page on Saturday.
“(I) 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,” ElBaradei, a Nobel laureate who leads the opposition National Salvation Front, wrote on Twitter.
His comment reiterated a frequently heard opposition sentiment that democratically elected President Mohamed Morsy is acting like former President Hosni Mubarak.
Elections under Mubarak's three-decade rule were widely rigged, and parliament was dominated by members of his ruling party.
On Friday, ElBaradei said holding elections during this time of deep political polarization “is a recipe for disaster.”
Morsy's Muslim Brotherhood accused the opposition of running away from the challenge.
The deputy head of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, Essam el-Erian, responded to ElBaradei's call on his Facebook page.
“Running away from a popular test only means that some want to assume executive authority without a democratic mandate,” he said of the opposition. “We've never yet known them to face any election or serious test.”
Almost immediately after ElBaradei's boycott call, rifts began to emerge in the opposition. Even members of his opposition bloc, the NSF, said the group had not yet decided on a boycott.
Blogger and commentator Mahmoud Salem, a longtime activist who opposes Morsy, said he disagreed with a boycott because it offers no real alternative to the political impasse.
“Where's ElBaradei's party, its plan, its economic vision? Let's say a boycott is the right answer. What will they do so that they can be competitive in the next election?” Salem said.
He accused ElBaradei of calling for a boycott in part because the opposition has been unable to win significantly at the polls.
“In reality, it will end up as a parliament composed of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafis, or members of the ex-regime,” Salem said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Israel OKs Jewish homeland legislation
- Putin says he won’t be Russia’s president for life
- Suicide blast kills 45 at Afghan volleyball tournament
- 100 terrorists killed in Kenya retaliation act
- 5 terror plots foiled, London police say
- U.S. proposes extending talks with Iran as pessimism about nuclear deal grows
- Iraqi forces claim 2 towns wrested from ISIS
- Moscow on slippery slope with Ukraine fighting, Merkel warns
- Israeli mayor suspends jobs of some Arabs, citing synagogue attack
- Afghan parliament approves U.S., NATO agreements
- Smasher yields 1st look at new particles