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MB says candidates, supporters ‘terrorized’ ahead of elections

By Heba Fahmy The Muslim Brotherhood condemned security violations against the group in a press conference Monday, calling on people to defend the right to vote for their candidate of choice on election day, Nov. 28. “They want to terrorize us and force us to withdraw from the elections,” MB-affiliated independent candidate in Alexandria and current …

DNE

NGOs threaten to boycott elections if not allowed to monitor polling stations

By Tamim Elyan CAIRO: The Egyptian Coalition for Monitoring Elections (ECME) said Monday that it would boycott the parliamentary elections if its representatives do not receive their monitoring permits and if they are not allowed to enter the polling stations. “The Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) is violating our right in monitoring the elections by only allowing …

DNE

Meet the players: The National Democratic Party (NDP)

  CAIRO: Led by President Hosni Mubarak, the National Democratic Party (NDP) is the ruling party in Egypt, occupying the majority of seats in the People’s Assembly (the lower house of parliament). The party was established in 1978 when late President Anwar Sadat split the Arab Socialist Union into three separate political organizations representing the …

DNE

The Brotherhood’s electorate

By Khalil Al-Anani CAIRO: Whereas the number of Muslim Brotherhood members is still a big secret, it’s not difficult to determine its electorate. Three categories of people tend to vote in favor of the Brotherhood (or the Ikhwan) candidates. First, there are those who are committed to Ikhwan’s religious and political ideology. They’ve been called “Ikhwan …

DNE

Opposition, rights group accuse NDP of violations prior to elections

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: Al-Wafd opposition party and the Muslim Brotherhood accused the government of crackdown meant to tilt the election in favor of the ruling National Democratic Party candidates. “We [Al-Wafd candidates] have been subjected to many violations prior to elections by NDP bullies from Aswan to Alexandria. This includes tearing down the candidates’ banners, …

DNE

Tensions heat up between Islamists, gov’t ahead of Egypt vote

By Mona Salem /AFP CAIRO: Tension is mounting between the Egyptian authorities and the opposition Muslim Brotherhood ahead of next week’s legislative polls, with hundreds of Islamists having been rounded up by security forces. On Friday alone between 100 and 120 Islamists were arrested across Egypt, according to a security official, while the Brotherhood said around …

DNE

Rights group cautions Egypt on election harassment

By Paul Schemm /AP CAIRO: The London-based Amnesty International called on Egyptian authorities to refrain from harassing election candidates as hundreds of opposition members have been arrested and their marches dispersed. The opposition Muslim Brotherhood said Sunday that several of its rallies have been disrupted and more than a thousand of its members have been detained …

DNE

Community newspapers’ credibility in question ahead of elections

By Tamim Elyan CAIRO: During election season in Egypt, local media scrambles to provide wide-ranging coverage, with most newspapers announcing special coverage programs giving more space for relevant content and constituency-centric information. For community newspapers running on a tight budget, cash flow coming in from candidates who want to promote their campaigns in their respective constituency …

DNE

Online campaign accuses NDP of exploiting Amr Khaled

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: After an eight-year ban, televangelist Amr Khaled will return to preaching in Egypt in an event tied to a parliamentary National Democratic Party candidate, sparking accusations that the party is exploiting Khaled prior to the elections. Khaled will give a talk in Alexandria under the auspices of the Alexandria Association for Development, …

DNE

Elections 101: The basics of Egypt’s parliamentary race

By Sarah Carr CAIRO: Egypt’s 2010 People’s Assembly elections will be the first to be held after the controversial 2007 constitutional amendments, which lay down the criteria independent and political parties must fulfil in order to nominate a candidate for election to the presidency. One of the conditions stipulates that independent candidates must secure the support …

DNE

NDP, opposition face challenges in run-up to parliamentary elections

By Heba Fahmy and Safaa Abdoun CAIRO: Challenges facing candidates in the Nov. 28 parliamentary elections have escalated, as security crackdowns, disputes, and even death have complicated the race. The Supreme Electoral Commission has approved 5,181 candidates for the election out of roughly 5,328 who applied. Three hundred and ninety seven women applied for candidature for …

DNE

Egypt ruling party rebuffs call for foreign poll monitors

By AFP CAIRO: Egypt’s ruling party has rejected as “interference” calls, including by Washington, to allow foreign observers to monitor this month’s parliamentary elections, media reports said Wednesday. The National Democratic Party’s secretary general Sawfat El-Sherif said only local groups would be allowed to observe the Nov. 28 poll. “Foreign monitoring is considered an interference …

DNE

US calls for free elections in Egypt

By AFP WASHINGTON: The United States pledged Monday to support free and fair parliamentary elections in Egypt later this month, after Egyptian human rights groups warned of political crackdowns on the opposition. Registration of political candidates for the People’s Assembly Nov. 28 elections closed last week. “The United States remains committed to supporting free and …

DNE

Excluded PA hopeful sues NDP, SEC to run as independent

By Essam Fadl CAIRO: A National Democratic Party member excluded from his party’s nominations for the upcoming People’s Assembly elections filed a lawsuit on Thursday at the State Council Higher Administrative Court to obligate Supreme Electoral Commission to let him run as an independent. Head of Egyptian Union for Human Rights Organization Naguib Gobrael told Daily …

DNE

Rejoice, it’s election season

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: Some crimes are just unforgivable, no matter who committed them. In Shubra El-Kheima a few days ago, according to news reports, two 14-year-olds were arrested for raping and castrating a 10-year-old child. Both the horror of the crime and the age of those who committed it seem beyond the reach …

DNE

7,000 civil society members apply for permits to monitor elections

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: Sixty-three civil society organizations have applied to the National Council for Human Rights Council (NCHR) for authorization to monitor the upcoming parliamentary elections on Nov. 28, NHRC vice chairman said on Wednesday. Moqbel Shaker said that 7,000 observers affiliated with civil society organizations applied for permits to monitor the elections. The council …

DNE

16 Brotherhood members arrested, as group faces escalation in crackdowns

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: Sixteen members of the Muslim Brotherhood were arrested from their homes in Cairo early Thursday morning, according to the group’s lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud. The defendants haven’t been officially charged or transferred to the prosecution until press time. “They will probably be charged with joining a banned group as usual,” Abdel …

DNE

What chances does the Muslim Brotherhood stand in the upcoming elections?

By Omnia Al Desoukie CAIRO: Unlike some opposition groups in Egypt who are urging a boycott of the upcoming parliamentary elections, the Muslim Brotherhood believe that participating will send a stronger message. Last month, Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie said the group decided to take part in the elections to encourage civic duty on the one hand …

DNE

Rights groups fear rigging in Egypt’s election

By Hadeel Al-Shalchi /AP CAIRO: A coalition of 16 rights groups said Tuesday it expects Egypt’s parliamentary election later this month to be rigged because of severe restrictions imposed by the authorities. The Forum of Independent Human Rights NGOs warned in a report entitled “Rigging the 2010 Parliamentary Elections in Egypt” that the country’s interior ministry …

DNE

Egypt MB chief warns of anger if election rigged

By AFP CAIRO: Egypt’s opposition Muslim Brotherhood chief on Tuesday warned the government to “beware” of the people’s anger if it rigs the results of a parliamentary poll this month but ruled out violence by his group. “We are at a time that must see a rallying of efforts and all forces safeguarding the national …

DNE

Mubarak says parliament vote will be free

By AFP CAIRO: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak gave the assurance on Wednesday that parliamentary elections this month will be free, a day after rights groups reported restrictions on the opposition and media. “I will reaffirm that I anticipate, and the party anticipates, that the elections will be free and have integrity,” Mubarak told a conference …

DNE

Copts disappointed after NDP nominates 10 candidates

By Essam Fadl CAIRO: Members of Egypt’s Coptic community called for voting against the National Democratic Party (NDP) in the upcoming parliamentary elections after the party named only 10 Copts on its list of nominees. Copts also criticized the NDP’s nomination of Qena MP Abdel Rehim El-Ghoul who was rumored to be connected with the Nagaa …

DNE

Brotherhood supporters in Alexandria say assaulted by police

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: Five supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) were attacked by security forces in Alexandria late Monday while hanging posters of MB-affiliated independent candidate Mahmoud Attia, the group said. “A low ranking police officer in uniform held a sword in his right hand and a stick in his left hand and attacked the …

DNE

Suspending religious channels: A crackdown on freedom of expression or religious extremism?

By Raghda El-Halawany CAIRO: Experts are divided on the recent suspension of privately-owned religious satellite channels, with some calling it a strategy aimed at curbing media freedom, and others applauding it as a step to a more stable society. Last month, Egypt’s state-owned NileSat temporarily suspended many satellite channels for violating broadcasting licenses by inciting religious …

DNE

Foreign election monitoring insults national sovereignty, says Sorour

By Tamim Elyan CAIRO: People’s Assembly Speaker Ahmed Fathi Sorour reiterated Egypt’s rejection of foreign monitoring of the upcoming parliamentary elections, saying that it is a domestic issue and that foreign intervention would be considered an insult to national sovereignty. “Foreign countries have no control over the elections because it is an internal affair,” Sorour said …

DNE

Nour plans to circumvent Egypt’s rejection of foreign monitors

By Essam Fadl CAIRO: Political dissident and founder of Al-Ghad Party Ayman Nour said he’ll circumvent the government’s refusal to allow foreign monitors to oversee the parliamentary elections by inviting European officials for a conference to take place before Nov. 28, election day. Nour said that he is attempting to attract European officials capable of overseeing …

DNE

ElBaradei campaign accuses security of ‘bugging’ their office

CAIRO: The campaign supporting former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei to run for President and promoting his reform demands said in a statement that security had bugged their offices. Recording devices were allegedly planted in the office of the campaign’s general coordinator Abdul Rahman Yusuf to spy on him and the keep records of the his …

DNE

Constitutional Court to decide on expats’ right to vote in Egypt elections

By Marwa Al-A’asar CAIRO: The Administrative Court referred Thursday the lawsuit calling for granting expatriate Egyptians the right to vote in the parliamentary elections to the Supreme Constitutional Court. The court is expected to look into Article 12 of the Law for Practicing Political Rights before deciding on a ruling. Article 12 dictates that the …

DNE

Protests as MB candidates face obstacles registering for PA elections

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members held a demonstration on Thursday at Al-Mansheya square in Alexandria while dozens protested in front of the city’s security directorate, spurred by the prevention of MB-affiliated candidates from submitting their registration papers for the parliamentary elections. “We just want security forces to ease their restrictions on …

DNE