CAIRO: Protest group Kefaya announced that it will “boycott the upcoming 2010 and 2011 parliamentary and presidential elections.
Speaking during a demonstration held on Saturday afternoon outside Cairo’s High Court building, Kefaya leader Abdel Halim Qandil said that elections in Egypt merely “rubber stamp administration appointments.
He called on opposition forces to join his initiative to elect “an alternative president.
“We are putting forward a scenario of change in Egypt via the people during the coming 20 months through the formation of a general assembly composed of former and current opposition MPs, public personalities, opposition movement figures, strike and protest leaders and syndicate members, Qandil told reporters.
The organization will be made up of around 500 individuals, he added.
Qandil said that this organization, what he referred to as “a people’s parliament, will elect a “people’s alternative president who will then lead a peaceful campaign of signature-gathering, protests and strikes demanding that the current regime “hand over the country to the alternative president.
Egypt would then go through a “two-year transitional period, Qandil said, after which parliamentary and presidential elections “in conformity with international standards will be held.
“It is impossible to offer elections which offer even a minimum standard of fairness and probity under the current regime, Qandil said.
The Kefaya leader added that he and other political opposition groups had previously publicly issued 10 conditions for fair elections, including amendments to the constitution.
“Mubarak will not change the constitution. Constitutional change means regime change, Qandil said.
Some 100 protestors took part in Saturday’s demonstration, which marked the five-year anniversary since Kefaya’s first protest in 2004.
Qandil also addressed recent statements by former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei indicating that he might consider running in Egypt’s presidential elections if constitutional reforms were made to the rules governing elections.
Qandil said that Kefaya “extends its hands to ElBaradei.
“We commend the position taken by ElBaradei, and especially his most recent statements that he is prepared to engage [with citizens] for constitutional change.
“Our issue now is not about individual people however. It is about how do we open the way to free elections?
“The scale of political tension which exists at the moment means that during the coming 20 months it will be possible to forge another path to free Egyptians from American-Israeli domination and the domination of the current regime, via change through the people.