Monday, December 13, 2010

Hundreds protest Egypt elections result

Hundreds of political activists and opposition leaders in Egypt have protested against the outcome of the parliamentary elections, which has been marred by widespread allegations of fraud.

The protest outside the Supreme Court in Cairo on Sunday came as President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party said the elections had been fair despite a few irregularities. 

Hundreds of demonstrators repeatedly chanted slogans that the elections were "null." 

"This is not our parliament. Down with the illegitimate parliament," said a placard held by a demonstrator. 

George Ishak, one of the leaders of the National Association for Change, a broad coalition of opposition groups and movements, said that dissidents intended to challenge the legitimacy of the new parliament. 

"We will file complaints locally and nationally against this parliament," AFP quoted Ishak as saying. 

"This is a protest against what happened in the election, which proved to be forged," he added. 

This is while some of the losing candidates have said they were organizing a parallel popular parliament. 

Mubarak's party won a sweeping victory in the parliamentary elections, after a final round of voting boycotted by the two main opposition groups. The two rounds of voting were held on November 28 and December 5. 

Meanwhile, major Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei has also called for a boycott of the country's presidential election, slated for next year. 

In a video posted on Facebook, the Nobel Laureate and former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency said, "The opposition must join ranks... and announce, frankly, that it will boycott the presidential election as long as the constitution has not been amended." 

"I urge you to send a clear message to the regime that we will not take part in this farce next year," he added. 

ElBaradei warned that the opposition could resort to violence unless political reforms were implemented in Egypt. 

"I hope that the regime understands that if they don't allow us this, the Egyptian people will be left by one choice only... there will be violence in Egypt and that is something no Egyptian wants," he said. 

Muslim Brotherhood opposition party has called for the dissolution of the new parliament. The party says it is gathering evidence of vote rigging. 

Earlier, international and local human rights activists condemned the elections for widespread fraud.

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