Saturday, April 19, 2008

EGYPT: Election Brings Victory Without Votes

Analysis by Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani

"CAIRO, Apr 18 (IPS) - The ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) of long-time president Hosni Mubarak swept Egypt's nationwide municipal council elections last week. But while NDP officials lauded the contest as "fair and transparent", opposition groups say their candidates never stood a chance.

"What happened can't even be called an 'election' since most opposition candidates weren't even allowed to run," Essam al-Arian, prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood opposition movement -- which boycotted the contest -- told IPS.

On Apr. 8, elections were held countrywide for 52,000 municipal council seats in some 4,500 towns and cities throughout Egypt. While government spokesmen claimed a high turnout, most independent observers estimate that fewer than 3 percent of the country's registered voters cast their vote......"

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