By Marwa Al-A’asar
CAIRO: About 15 opposition groups and parties will join forces Sunday afternoon outside the High Court of Justice in Downtown Cairo to protest the alleged illegitimacy of this year’s elected People’s Assembly (PA).
“This protest aims to show that all opposition groups [can] constitute one power under one slogan: ‘void,’” said George Ishac, a senior member of the National Association for Change (NAC) and co-founder of the Kefaya Movement for Change.
“This null and void parliament does not represent the Egyptian people,” he told Daily News Egypt.
According to Ishac, Sunday’s protest will be the first in which Al-Wafd and the Arab Nasserist parties join the demonstrations against the new PA “as parties [rather than] individuals.”
The protest will be held one day before the first session of the new PA, during which time the MPs will take their service oaths.
“The protest will be a means to express our stance towards … this illicit parliament, as well as the [violations] committed during the elections,” said Ayman Nour, the president of Al-Ghad opposition party.
Nour has not ruled out the possibility that authorities will attempt to prevent the protest before it starts.
“We have a Plan B to apply in [the event that authorities stop Sunday’s protest], but we cannot disclose it,” Nour said.
The ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) won a sweeping victory in the PA amidst allegations of a host of violations committed by the authorities that favored NDP candidates during the electoral process held on Nov. 28 and Dec. 5.
The alleged violations included ballot stuffing, vote rigging and denying representatives of independent candidates and opposition parties entry into the polling stations in spite of their possession of notarized permits.
Mohamed ElBaradei, the founder of NAC and the former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, had previously called for Egyptian citizens and all opposition groups to boycott the PA elections. Although several opposition parties heeded ElBaradei’s call for boycott, a few still participated in the elections with less than satisfying results.
Both the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Wafd party withdrew from the polls after the first round, announcing they would not compete in the runoffs on Dec. 5. Other independent candidates ended up withdrawing from the polls.
“I call on the parties and groups … to apologize to the Egyptian people for participating in these elections,” Ishac stated.