09/29/2011, 00.00
EGYPT
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The new electoral law benefits former regime and the Muslim Brotherhood

The army reserves 1 / 4 of the seats in parliament for individual leaders without a party. The Egyptian political movements threaten to boycott the November elections. The struggle for power crushes the ideals of the jasmine revolution.
Cairo (AsiaNews) - The Egyptian political parties have threatened to boycott the elections next November if the electoral law is not changed. Launched four days ago by the Supreme Council of the military, it reserves 1 / 4 of parliamentary seats for individual candidates without a party. This favours the former members of the Mubarak regime, but also the richest political parties, who will have the opportunity to nominate more than one person, crushing the movement born after the fall of the Rais.

In an attempt to force the military council to change the law, 59 political parties and groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, have called for new demonstrations and threatening a boycott of elections on 28 November. A part of the Muslim Brotherhood has, however, dissociated itself from the protest. According to some officials a further delay to the elections would be a tragedy for the country.

During the Mubarak era parliamentarians were elected based on a mixed system: 2 / 3 of seats by proportional representation, 1 / 3 with a single-member system. This allowed wealthy people to be elected, however, forcing them to be part of a party. The new law passed by the military council increases the number of MPs elected by proportional representation (3 / 4 of the seats), but reserves 1 / 4 of the seats to individual leaders without a party.

Fr. Rafiq Greich, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, points out that this system allows wealthy people outside the political landscape to compete in elections, influencing their party of choice. The main favorites are former members of the regime, hated by all the parties after the fall of Mubarak, but with large financial resources and means of propaganda. "This - the priest says - has pushed for democratic movements to demand the expulsion of former regime members from politics for at least 6 years."

But the ambiguity of the new system also benefits the most organized and wealthy groups, like the Muslim Brotherhood. They will have the opportunity to compete as a party and with individuals affiliated to them able to sustain a campaign. In this way the youth of the revolution are effectively excluded from the election race.

For the priest, the picture is bleak. The ideals of the jasmine revolution have now been crushed by the struggle for power. "Unfortunately young people of the revolution are very divided - said Fr Greich – and o their own they are in danger of being crushed by strong formations, but they have no real political vision. " "During the Revolution – he continues - the goal was to topple Mubarak with the hope of change. Now, these ideals have been destroyed. No one knows what to do. " (Sc)


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