Egypt opposition getting ready for vote
18 April 2013, 18:51
Cairo - A loose alliance of Egyptian opposition parties said
it is preparing to take part in a parliamentary election later this year, a
sign that Islamist President Mohammed Morsi’s secular opponents may drop plans
for a blanket boycott.
The National Salvation Front, an umbrella group formed last
year in opposition to the Islamists, said in a statement it was getting ready
for the election while pursuing "the struggle" to create the right
atmosphere for a free and fair vote.
The grouping of leftist and liberal parties had said it
would boycott the election originally called by Morsi for April. The vote was
then postponed by a court ruling. Morsi has said the election could now begin
In a statement, the NSF repeated demands for a neutral
government to oversee the election and the appointment of a new prosecutor
general: the current one is viewed by the opposition as biased in favour of the
But it did not explicitly threaten a boycott of the vote, in
what analysts saw as a recognition that some of its members, such as the
liberal Wafd Party, plan to take part regardless.
The NSF said it considered parliamentary elections one of
the ways to save the nation "when guarantees that they are free and fair
are in place".
The election will decide the make-up of the new lower house
of parliament. The previous lower house, led by the Muslim Brotherhood's party,
was dissolved last June on the basis of a court ruling that found the election
law to be illegal.
The upper house of parliament, which has legislative power,
approved a new election law last week. The law was then referred to the Supreme
Constitutional Court, which will examine its legality in accordance with the