Opposition to decide common stance on elections

An Egyptian opposition coalition consisting of the liberal Wafd, leftist Tagammu, pan-Arab Nasserite and liberal Democratic Front parties will meet Wednesday to discuss whether they will boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections slated for next October.

“The purpose of the meeting is to activate the coalition and arrive at a unified stance on upcoming parliamentary elections,” said Tagammu Party spokesman Nabil Zaki. “The meeting also aims to reconcile the Wafd and the Front parties after the latter decided to quit the coalition.”

Front Party Secretary-General Margrit Azer, for her part, said all differences with coalition members had been resolved.

Front Party leaders have called for boycotting the elections on grounds that it will not be fair and free. They regard competing for the 518-seat legislative body as a quick route to bestowing legitimacy on the ruling National Democratic Party’s methods.

A 2007 constitutional amendment aggressively limited judicial supervision of parliamentary elections in favor of a greater role for state-appointed monitors of election boxes.

Egyptian authorities have also ruled out that any international body such the United Nations and the European Union would be allowed to send elections observers to monitor the voting process.

The presidents of the four parties are all expected to attend the meeting.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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