By Sarah Carr
CAIRO: Opposition political factions protested on Sunday the results of the People’s Assembly elections and called for the dissolution of parliament.
About 300 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the April 6 Youth Movement as well as Al-Ghad, Al-Wafd and Karama political parties assembled in a tightly cordoned off demonstration outside the public prosecution office.
“The elections were invalid, the results were invalid and hence everything that followed is void and lacks legitimacy,” Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed El-Beltagy, who stood for re-election to parliament in the Shoubra El-Kheima constituency during the first round of elections, told reporters.
The Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Wafd party withdrew after the first round of elections on Nov. 28, alleging wide-ranging procedural violations and interference by the interior ministry. Al-Ghad was among the first to boycott the elections, although some of its members ran.
The withdrawal of opposition parties rendered the elections “politically invalid,” El-Beltagy said, adding that they were “legally invalid” because the Supreme Administrative Court has held void the election of 148 MPs.
“The parliament lacks popular legitimacy because the Egyptian public knows the MPs elected to the PA were not chosen by the people, but rather by the interior ministry with the protection of thugs,” El-Beltagy said.
Last week opposition groups announced the formation of an “alternative parliament”; 118 members of it have announced that they will hold a demonstration on Monday at the same time as newly-elected MPs are sworn in.
Mostafa Bakry, who stood for re-election as an independent candidate in Helwan, told Daily News Egypt that this parliament “will provide a genuine voice for the people and put forward opinions in the street — something that is missing from the People’s Assembly.”
Former Muslim Brotherhood MP Mohamed El-Beltagy leads the chants at the protest. (Daily News Egypt Photo/Sarah Carr)
Activist George Ishaq (R) addresses protesters outside the high court in downtown Cairo on Dec. 12. (AFP PHOTO / STR)