Around 60 public figures have called on political parties and movements to announce a collective boycott of the upcoming parliamentary elections. They also called on them to launch a public boycott campaign to discredit the upcoming elections.
The House of Representatives elections are set to be held over four phases. The first phase starts in April and the last in June. The upper house’s first session is scheduled to convene on 2 July.
The public figures, which include Gamila Ismail, George Ishaq and Mohamed Waked, signed a joint statement on Tuesday. The statement cited a number of reasons for boycotting the elections, including what they described as the “Muslim Brotherhood’s rejection of the legitimate demands of the Egyptian people”.
Ahmed Aref, an official spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood, said the people who make such statements about the Brotherhood are under the influence of Mubarak’s oppressive regime which promoted the Muslim Brotherhood as a scarecrow.
Heba Yassin, one of the public figures who signed the statement said she does not believe that there are guarantees that the elections will be fair. She added that there were violations during the referendum on the constitution and that complaints about these violations were made but nothing materialised.
The statement said the elections law does not provide real guarantees on the integrity of the elections and that there is an insistence on limiting the democratic process to an electoral box. The statement added that the there is an increasing possibility that the ballot boxes will be rigged in favour of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Aref said the Brotherhood is very concerned about the presence of transparent guarantees. “Whoever says this, does not accept the numbers brought by the ballot boxes,” he added.
The statement concluded: “We assure that we are not stopping at this political stance and that we will work on escalating against the ruling authority and its policies and practises by developing peaceful civilian techniques…to continue the revolution.”
Political parties have recently been divided on whether or not to boycott the upcoming elections.