Egypt’s Student Unions Federation outraged by the Ministry of Higher Education decision to repeat the electoral process for the federation board members.
“It’s a letdown. We have no trust in the ministry’s decision makers, and we acknowledge that there is no democratic future waiting for us,” the federation said in a statement.
Ministry of Higher Education postponed the ratification of election results for more than two weeks and decided to decline it on Thursday. Following elections at each university, comes the union heads voting for a president of the general federation. An appeal was issued by Zagazig University new head of Student Union claiming that the former union head voted instead of him and called on verifying the validity of the entire electoral process.
Abdallah Anwar, the elected federation head, told Daily News Egypt “there is a clear manipulation that aims at hindering the elections process.”
According to Anwar this incident was planned from the beginning as the committee supervising the elections should have banned the former union head from voting in the first place since his name was not enlisted.
He added, “besides, our concern of holding another round of elections will take about two months, not including final exams which means we will formally have the federation by second semester; it is just a waste of time.”
Further he said, there will be a meeting for all universities union on Sunday to decide on a final draft for our decision that aims to sustain the elected student movement.
According to Association of Freedom of Though and Expression’s (AFTE) student observatory, the actual reasons for delay are very different. “It is the election result itself that is causing a delay, as many dissidents took over the union’s most crucial seats,” AFTE said in an official statement.
Moreover, the list supported by Future of a Nation Party and endorsed by leaders in the Ministry of Higher Education, failed to gain any seats, according to AFTE’s statement.
Over the past two years, in the wake of the banning of the Muslim Brotherhood, universities witnessed major upheavals from students in different faculties who organised protests in support of the Brotherhood.
Protests often ended with violent dispersals and several injuries among both students and security forces, in addition to random arrests and suspensions that followed.