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    Posted February 25, 2013 by

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    ElBaradei calls for Egypt elections boycott

    A key Egyptian opposition figure, Mohamed ElBaradei, has urged President Mohammad Morsi not to go ahead with the parliamentary elections due in April. Mr ElBaradei is one of the leaders of Egypt’s National Salvation Front, which is formed from a coalition of opposition groups. Mr ElBaradei said the elections risked bringing instability and possibly military intervention, and called for the opposition to stage a boycott.

    From his official account, Mr ElBaradei tweeted: “Call for parliamentary election boycott in 2010 to expose sham democracy. Today I repeat my call, will not be part of an act of deception.” He later told BBC News that torture, abduction and social injustice still existed in Egypt, and holding elections in April in a society that is “completely polarised” would risk setting the country on a “road to total chaos and instability”. He warned that military intervention may be needed to stabilise the situation until the political process could be continued.

    A senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and leader of the majority party in Egypt’s upper house of Parliament criticised the proposed boycott. Writing on the party’s Facebook page, Essam Erian said that “evading a popular test [the elections] only means that some people want to assume the executive powers without a democratic mandate.”

    The elections have been called as a result of Egyptians voting in favour of a controversial new constitution, which requires that the electoral process begins within two months. They have also been called only weeks after more than 70 people were killed in clashes between security forces and opposition supporters at protests held to mark the second anniversary of the revolution which removed Hosni Mubarak. In the past year, violent clashes in Port Said, a province along the Suez Canal, have highlighted the longstanding resentment towards the government by residents there.
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