NAC provincial meetings call for election boycott

Members of the National Association for Change (NAC) have agreed to boycott the upcoming People’s Assembly elections if guarantees against vote rigging are not provided. They have also demanded that the November elections be subject to international supervision.

The decision was made during two conferences on Friday evening in the provinces of Daqahlia and Assiut, attended by a number of association members and representatives of different political groups.

“Violating the principle of international oversight goes against our national interest,” said Abul Ezz el-Hariri of the Tagammu Party at the Daqahlia meeting, which was hosted by the Egyptian Medical Syndicate in Talkha.

George Ishaq, an NAC leader, said opposition parties cannot participate in the electoral process so long as it suffers from existing deficiencies. He suggested a number of changes to the current system, including the lifting the emergency law which is used to intimidate voters, guarantees for international monitoring by an impartial body, and the introduction of a mechanized registration system that requires voters to present National ID cards and balloting stations.

On a different note, Osama el-Ghazali Harb, chief of the Democratic Front Party, said that NAC membership is not limited to particular individuals, arguing that the organization represents all sectors of society and is guided by a single goal: turning Egypt into a democratic state that is well-ranked among countries of the developed world.

Mohamed Ali Beshr, member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau, announced that Brotherhood leaders, including the Supreme Guide, will encourage people to sign the NAC’s charter as means of pressuring the ruling regime. He stressed that change will not be achieved unless millions demand it.

In Assiut, conference participants suggested the formation of a provincial committee representing all political trends that would be charged with collecting requests from citizens to confer power-of-attorney privileges upon former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, authorizing him to demand constitutional change on their behalf.

MB representative Hussein Lazoumy also urged people at the Assiut conference to take to the streets to make their demands heard.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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