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Egyptian Social Democratic Party to boycott elections

In light of Saturday violence Egypt's Social Democratic Party announces it will not take part in parliamentary elections and calls on dismissal of General Prosecutor and Interior Minister

Ahram Online , Saturday 9 Mar 2013
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The Egyptian Social Democratic Party logo
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The Higher Committee of the leftist-liberal Egyptian Social Democratic Party (SDP) held an urgent press conference late on Saturday in which it announced it would boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Present at the conference, held at the party headquaters were members of the higher committee included Mohamed Aboul Ghar, Farid Zahran, Shura Council (upper house of parliament) MP Ehab El-Kharrat, and party head Ahmed Fawzi.

In light of the recent violence seen during the day following the Port Said trial verdict, the party called on the Prosecutor-General Talaat Ibrahim and Interior Mohamed Ibrahim to retire from their posts.

Abul Ghar further called for the formation of a committee made up of different parties in order to revise contentious articles in the new constitution which passed in December 2012.

He further called for certain guarantees to be offered by the presidency in order for the party to consider taking part in the elections; which, most importantly, include having a judge at each polling station, setting a limit to campaign budgets and a completely transparent electoral process.

The opposition bloc, the National Salvation Front, which the SDP is a member of, had earlier announced on 26 February they would also boycott the parliamentary elections.

Egypt's Administrative Court overturned a presidential decree on 6 March calling parliamentary elections on 22 April, after referring Egyptian electoral legislation to the High Constitutional Court on Wednesday, questioning the constitutionality of the newly-drafted law.

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