Egyptian Electoral Committee Takes Control

Luke 19:43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.

The Egyptian electoral commission is taking control of presidential election, seeking political balance. The Islamic community has been attempting to secure power in the presidential race through the Muslim Brotherhood. They already control the Parliament, have been writing the constitution and run the Cabinet.

The electoral commission announced that ten candidates have been barred from the May 23-24 presidential election, including Shater, Mubarak’s ex-spy chief Omar Suleiman and the Salafist candidate; Hazem Abu Ismail.

The powerful Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate; Khairat al-Shater was in jail last year on charges of terrorism and money laundering. He was barred because of a law that states; those who have been freed from jail may only run for political office six years later.

“It’s a very important decision because it eliminates the most controversial candidates,” said Mustafa Kamel al-Sayyed, professor of political science at Cairo University.

Khairat al-Shater told journalists, “The way the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces runs Egypt … shows manipulation in the democratisation process and a desire to prevent people from democratically electing their president. The SCAF wants to pull the strings of power from behind the scenes.” He called on Egyptians to “protect the revolution,” warning that plans for electoral fraud and vote-buying were under way.

Needless to say, the decision to eliminate ten candidates from the election threw the presidential campaign into turmoil as the fate of a new constitution remains in limbo.

This past week, a Cairo court suspended the Islamist-dominated commission given the job of drafting a new Egyptian constitution because of a boycott by liberals, moderate Muslims and the Egyptian church. The secular parties claimed they were only being used as a smoke screen, allowing the Islamists to draft a basic law reflecting their ideologies in the new constitution. Most of the parliamentary members were from the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist fundamentalists group, who hold the majority in both houses of parliament.

The secularists, liberals, moderate Muslims and the Egyptian Orthodox Church want a more balanced commission, fearing the Islamist grip would lead to the strengthening of a demand for Islamic Sharia law.

Meanwhile, Egyptian presidential front-runner Amr Moussa pledged to adopt a tougher stance on Israel than his predecessor, if elected president next month. Moussa committed he will be “returning to historic, honorable principles in dealing with the Palestinian question as a priority of Egyptian national security,”

He went on to say that Egypt has experienced “years of laxity” in the way they have dealt with Israel. “All forms of political, economic and legal support must be given to Palestinians in their struggle for rights.”


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