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Student unions criticise election process

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Heads of 13 student unions accuse Brotherhood affiliated students of breaking ballot boxes to cancel elections

Thirteen Student Unions from around Egypt have signed a statement criticising the Egypt Student Union election process.

The statement published on Wednesday was signed by a number of student unions including Cairo University, Ain Shams University, Alexandria University, Aswan University, Suez University and eight others.

The statement accuses representatives from state universities and some Al-Azhar university affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood of “attempts to block the democratic process”. The statement claims that there were attempts to “break ballot boxes aiming to cancel the elections”.

Speaking to Al-Hayat television channel, president of Cairo University’s student union Hesham Ashraf said on Wednesday that students from his union have videos showing student members of the Brotherhood smashing ballot boxes. Ashraf also claimed that the Brotherhood students agreed to not alow the media to attend despite other students calling for a vote on the resolution.

The statement published by the coalition of student unions made four demands. Firstly they called for “the formation of a legal committee to hold elections”. The students want the committee to be comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Justice, two deans of law schools and a representative from the Ministry of Higher Education. They have also said that they want the committee to be formed within 48 hours.

The other demands are to allow media coverage of the elections, for “the Fatwa and Legislation Committee of the state council to adopt the methods of electoral administration” and to “include two members of the private universities to the Student Union Council”.

In March Brotherhood candidates running in student union elections did not fair well, with many candidates from opposition groups emerging triumphant. Ashraf himself won as an independent candidate.

About the author

Joel Gulhane

News Reporter

Joel Gulhane is a journalist with an interest in Egyptian and regional politics. Follow him on Twitter @jgulhane


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