Independent coalition ends Brotherhood's control of Egypt's Doctors Syndicate

Ahram Online, Sunday 15 Dec 2013

Non-Brotherhood candidates won 11 of the 12 syndicate board seats available at recent elections

 Khairy Abdel-Dayem
Doctors Syndicate head Khairy Abdel-Dayem (Photo: Al-Ahram)

A broad coalition of non-Muslim Brotherhood candidates has won 11 of the 12 seats available on the Doctors Syndicate's main board, ending the longstanding dominance of the Islamist group over the body.

The Independence list includes members of activist groups Doctors Without Rights and Tahrir Doctors, as well as independent candidates. It first made an appearance as an electoral coalition in 2011.

The final results, announced by syndicate head Khairy Abdel-Dayem on Sunday, confirmed initial reports issued a few days ago which had suggested that the Brotherhood candidates standing in the elections had lost majority control for the first time in over two decades.

At a press conference on Sunday Abdel-Dayem revealed that around 19,000 doctors cast their ballots in the elections, out of 217,000 registered doctors. Over 18,000 ballots were valid.

The candidates of the Independence list amassed 3,000 votes more than candidates from the Brotherhood, the group from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails.

Half of the seats on the syndicate's main board were contested in the mid-term elections held on Friday, as were half the seats on the board of each of the provincial syndicate branches, present in all 27 Egyptian governorates.

The ouster of Morsi on 3 July, following mass protests against him across Egypt, was accompanied by a notable drop in the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Thousands of Brotherhood sympathisers have since been arrested, including many in the group’s top leadership.

In 2011, the Independence List stunned all observers by winning solid majorities of seats in syndicate boards in 14 outof 27 governorates, and trounced the Brotherhood, which controlled the union for 30 years, in a number of places they never dreamed of losing. In the national syndicate board elections, the Independence List won six out of 24 seats, and broke the Brotherhood’s monopoly over power there. 

At the last elections [in 2011], the Independence list only won six out of the total 24 [main board] seats and that was already considered a great success, in a syndicate historically dominated by the Brotherhood," Ahmed Metwally, a syndicate member and a member of the Doctors Without Rights group, told Ahram Online.


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