Egyptian Popular Current will boycott parliamentary elections

Ahram Online, Wednesday 20 Feb 2013

Hamdeen Sabbahi's Egyptian Popular Current will not participate in April polls out of objection to the 'undemocratic regime'

Hamdeen Sabahi
Egyptian opposition leader Hamdeen Sabbahi (Photo: AP)

The Egyptian Popular Current, led by Nasserist politician Hamdeen Sabbahi, announced on Tuesday that the movement will boycott the coming parliamentary elections in objection to the current "undemocratic regime."

“We will not support a regime that has rebelled against all the goals of the January 25 revolution, and the sacrifices of its martyrs and injured,” read a statement that was published on the movement’s official Facebook page.

No official date has been set for the parliamentary elections. However, officials suggest that they will take place in April. 

The Popular Current was launched last September by Sabbahi, who won at least five million votes when he ran in the 2012 presidential elections, in an attempt to organise "different forces of society to press on with fulfilling the demands of the revolution."

The group further asserted that their only goal is the continuation of the revolution among the masses, and supports peaceful resistance including civil disobedience.

“Our stand is in the face of a regime that ignores the public in its decision making…and neglects all principles of democracy and freedom,” added the statement.

Last month, two members of the Popular Current died in controversial circumstances. Mohamed El-Gendy was killed, allegedly due to torture at the hands of police, when he disappeared after attending anti-government rallies in January 2013. He later died in hospital.

The Popular Current asserts that El-Gendy was subjected to torture, while ministry of interior officials claim that he was killed in a car accident, as per the findings of a forensic report.

Another member of the group, Amr Saad, died from his injuries after being hit by birdshot pellets in clashes between protesters and police outside the presidential palace on Friday 3 February.

The Egyptian Popular Current is a founding member of the National Salvation Front (NSF), the leading opposition bloc, which on 12 January issued eleven conditions to ensure the transparency of the electoral process. The front asserted that it will boycott the poll if conditions were not met.

The stances of other key NSF figures, including Mohamed ElBaradei and Amr Moussa, remain unclear.

NSF spokesman Khaled Daoud told Ahram Online in January that a consensus has been reached among members of the front that the decision to run in the elections will be decided collectively, as the bloc had been planning to run on a single electoral list.

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