CAIRO: The April 6 Youth Movement called for holding independent elections parallel to the upcoming parliamentary elections in November, should the government fail to guarantee the latter’s integrity.
According to its founder Ahmed Maher, the April 6 Youth Movement along with other opposition groups would hold independent elections — supervised by civil society organizations — where opposition figures would run for seats in the People’s Assembly in different constituencies.
National ID card holders would be eligible to vote in the independent parallel elections and their votes would be counted accurately leading to the final announcement of the winners, disregarding the official “rigged” elections, Maher said.
“We’ve presented this project to the opposition powers and they’re still studying it,” Maher told Daily News Egypt “We will not execute it unless all the opposition powers agree unanimously on this step.”
The April 6 Youth Movement presented a project of three phases to opposition groups including the National Association for Change and the Kefaya Movement for Change, to help guarantee free and fair parliamentary elections.
The project is part of a campaign they launched under the name “Black Constituency.”
The first phase includes calling on the government to meet the opposition’s demands for free and fair PA elections.
These demands include allowing the people to vote using only their national ID cards instead of electoral cards “which most Egyptians don’t have,” providing judicial supervision over the elections and monitoring the elections through international and local civil society organizations to guarantee its transparency.
Reform advocate Mohamed ElBaradei had led a call for boycotting the upcoming elections as a response to the government’s disregard of the opposition’s demands. However his calls were ignored by several opposition groups including the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Wafd Party, who will participate in the upcoming elections.
The second phase of the April 6 Youth Movement’s project involves raising awareness among citizens regarding the importance of PA elections and what to expect from its candidates.
“The people need to know that it’s the responsibility of PA members to approve laws that regulate their lives, to hold the government accountable for its actions and approve budgets that are spent to serve the people’s best interest,” Maher said.
“They also need to know about the corruption and chaos caused by the ruling National Democratic Party in the last five years including renewing the emergency law,” he added.
According to Maher, the parallel independent elections will be the final stage of “civil disobedience” if the government fails to comply with the opposition’s demands.