The National Salvation Front (NSF) said that an administrative court’s decision to suspend parliamentary elections and refer the electoral law to the Supreme Constitutional Court vindicates the opposition coalition’s decision to boycott the poll.
“The court’s decision affirmed the correctness of the Front’s stance that the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Shura Council’s drafting and passing of the electoral law was suspiciously hastily which has been the strategy of the Brotherhood, to which President Mohamed Morsi belongs, since he assumed the presidency,” a Wednesday statement by the NSF read.
They added that several legal and political experts, including those close to the president and the Brotherhood, agreed that the remapping of electoral districts was clearly done in a way that favours the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Yet the presidency was consistently stubborn in that it refused all suggestions made by the opposition, represented by the NSF, when it came to guaranteeing a free and fair election,” said the statement.
NSF leaders have made a consistent set of five demands in order for them to participate in the upcoming elections for the House of Representatives, the lower house of parliament.
They demanded Morsi remove Prime Minister Hesham Qandil’s government and appoint a neutral national salvation cabinet to run the electoral process, save the economy and restore security; the dismissal of Prosecutor General Tal’at Abdallah who Morsi appointed unilaterally in November; and a constitutional review committee to amend the newly adopted constitution.
Opposition groups also demanded the postponement of the elections and an electoral law that guarantees fairness through allowing more domestic and international observers as well as a fair division of electoral districts.
With the latter two demands met, the NSF may reverse its decision.
“I think we have to wait and see the new elections law before we could answer that question, but of course participation is the default, it’s not like we just love boycotting,” NSF spokesperson Khaled Dawoud told Daily News Egypt.
He reiterated the NSF’s five demands and said they were crucial to a free and fair election.
“Certainly the rules of the game have changed, however. We would love to participate but we could not have done so under an elections law drafted by the Muslim Brotherhood, making the results a foregone conclusion. We will not participate in deceiving the Egyptian people,” said Dawoud.
The NSF spokesperson refused to rule out the possibility of the opposition bloc running now that the law has to be approved by the Supreme Constitutional Court, however.
“We had been preparing for the elections for three months now before this law was passed. We are ready for elections if we decide to contest them,” Dawoud concluded.