Thursday, November 4, 2010
Egypt refuses registration of 57 Muslim Brotherhood candidates for parliament
The Brotherhood was banned in 1954 but participates in elections by having candidates run as independents. In the 2005 election it mnaged to win 88 seats or 20% of the total.
The group tried to register 132 candidates on Wednesday for the November 28 vote, but the government only accepted 75 of their registration papers.
The registration process, which lasts until Friday, is heavily bureaucratic and involves significant paperwork.
The candidates who were unsuccessful on the first of the three-day registration period are likely to have the chance to remedy small problems, or appeal against the decision, before Egypt's Higher Electoral Commission releases the final list of candidates on Sunday.
However, opposition groups are wary that Egyptian authorities will do whatever they can to limit challenges to the ruling National Democratic Party [NDP], with observers both inside and outside the country accusing the government of a pre-election crackdown.
In recent weeks, authorities have arrested more than 100 people associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Four Muslim Brotherhood members accompanying the candidates were arrested in the city of Fayoum on Wednesday.
Hundreds of people there reportedly came out to protest against the government action.
At least 2,500 people were said to be protesting in the governorate of Gharbiya, where Abdel Halim Hilal, a senior Brotherhood member, was not allowed to submit his paperwork.
Also on Wednesday, judges heard some of around 40 election-related cases that have been put before courts in Cairo, the capital.
Ikhwan web, the English website of the Brotherhood reported on 26 October that the security forces in Alexandria arrested at least 70 the MB campaigners as they began a poster campaign for the group's female candidate Bushra Alsamny. The posters read, “Together we can introduce change and the Brotherhood’s traditional but controversial slogan “Islam is the Solution".