Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, June 11, 2007

Egyptian elections marred by violence, accusations of interference

About 100 members of Egypt’s opposition Muslim Brotherhood party were arrested today as polls opened for parliamentary elections, The Associated Press reported. The Brotherhood pointed to the arrests, as well as the fact that many Egyptians were barred from voting, as evidence that the government is fixing the elections – claims the government has denied.

The Brotherhood is an Islamist opposition party that has technically been banned since 1954, but its members continue to run as independents. In 2005, the party won one-fifth of the seats in the lower house of parliament, in spite of mass arrests of its members. Prior to this week’s elections, President Hosni Mubarak tried to disqualify 17 Brotherhood members from the election, but the request was denied by the Supreme Administrative Court.

“They (election officials) are trying to force us to vote for the NDP candidate, and we don't want that,” said one protestor who identified himself only as Ayman, referring to members of the ruling National Democratic Party. With heavy security, attempts to bar voters, protests, and even one death, the elections were marred by low voter turnout.

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