Egyptian opposition to boycott elections
CAIRO — In another blow to Egypt's troubled democratic transition, the main opposition coalition announced on Tuesday it will boycott upcoming parliamentary elections because it doesn't trust the Islamic-led government of President Mohamed Morsy to guarantee a fair vote.
The decision by the secular and liberal National Salvation Front was widely expected after the nation's highest court ruled this month that provisions in the election law were unconstitutional. The opposition's strategy virtually ensures Islamists, notably the Muslim Brotherhood and the ultraconservative Nour Party, will dominate the new legislature when voting begins in April.
The opposition has struggled since the 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak to forge a galvanizing vision for a new Egypt. It has been plagued by internal divisions and overwhelmed by the grassroots reach of Islamists to turn out voters.
Despite its shortcomings, however, the National Salvation Front was the only credible voice challenging the country's drift toward political Islam.
“There can be no elections without a law that guarantees the fairness of the election process and a government that can implement such a law and be trusted by the people,” said Sameh Ashour, a spokesman for the salvation front.
The opposition is “boycotting because they have limited options,” said Magdy Sobhi, an analyst at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.
He added that Morsy refused to meet key opposition demands, including appointing a new cabinet and forming a committee to amend the new Islamist-drafted constitution.
“We are back at square one,” he said. “There is a large division in the Egyptian street. The only solution now is for the presidency and the main opposition to sit down and have genuine talks to solve the political crisis.”
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 â 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.