Boycotting elections may be best option: Former MP Hamzawy

Ahram Online , Saturday 23 Feb 2013

Unfair laws and Brotherhood monopoly make playing the game on the govt field useless, says Amr Hamzawy, suggesting instead that opposition change the rules off the political field

Amr Hamzawy
Liberal politician and member of Egypt's opposition coalition Amr Hamzawy (Photo: Reuters)

Former MP and a founding member of the National Salvation Front (NSF) Amr Hamzawy published on his official Twitter account Saturday his opinion that boycotting parliamentary elections may be the best option for Egypt's opposition. 

"The political, constitutional and legal regulations are unfair and in practice contradict with democracy, as human rights are being violated and the Brotherhoodisation of the state is taking place" he wrote on his Twitter account in Arabic.

"Despite the importance of electoral participation…in a context of such unfair rules it is not possible to influence legislation," he further opined, adding: "it might be the right solution for the opposition to boycott and work from outside official politics to change its rules." 

The leader of the Constitution Party and a founding member of the NSF, Mohamed ElBaradei also called on Egyptians Saturday to boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections.

President Morsi had set elections as soon as April, despite the fact that negotiations with opposition parties had not come to a close and the elections law has yet to be ratified. The president had announced the dates, but days later promised to change them because they directly overlapped with Christian Coptic Lazarus Saturday, Easter and Holy Week.

On 19 February the Popular Current, led by former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, another founding member of the NSF, announced that it will boycott the parliamentary poll.

On 12 January, the NSF had issued eleven conditions to ensure the transparency of the electoral process. The front asserted that it will boycott the poll if the conditions were not met.

Moreover, the head of the Wafd Party parliamentary bloc, Mohamed Hanafy Abul El-Enein declared on Saturday he was going on a hunger strike and would sit-in at parliament headquarters to protest the "unfair" distribution of electoral districts.

Civil forces criticise the electoral law's district distribution, charging that the district sizes vary greatly, are arbitrary and drawn to favour the majority party. 

The High Constitutional Court (HCC) in its judicial review of the draft elections law also singled out the article that set the districts as unconstitutional and specified that Egypt's electoral map must be redrawn to represent citizens in accordance with article 113 of the new constitution.

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