Egyptian parties nix electoral changes
Islam Times - A coalition of Egyptian opposition parties rejects the amendments to the electoral law announced by the country's new military rulers, threatening to boycott the upcoming parliamentary polls.
Islam Times reports from Reuters: “We reject participation in the elections unless the article is changed,'' said the umbrella group, which includes 59 parties along with the country's biggest opposition grouping, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's, Freedom and Equality party.
The parties gave the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces until Sunday to meet their demands for changes.
On Tuesday, the council issued a decree, setting out the schedule for the country's first parliamentary elections since the February ouster of the former dictator Hosni Mubarak's regime.
The decree included a controversial amendment to the electoral law, which stipulated that two-thirds of the parliament members should be elected through a representation system, which is proportional to the party list.
Accordingly, one-third of the assembly will be elected through a simple majority from independent candidates, who are not allowed to join any political parties during their term in parliament.
Opposition parties say the so-called constitutional reform paves the way for the return of former regime figures to the country's political arena.
Also on Wednesday, the coalition called on the military rulers to pass a law to ban the former officials involved in the abuse of power from running in elections for the next ten years.
Political party leaders also say the council's declaration runs counter to the people's aspirations. They say they are planning a million-man march in the capital, Cairo's Tahrir (Liberation) Square and several other major cities on Friday to protest at the ruling military.
"By continuing to issue laws without public consent and managing the transitional period vaguely, the military council is forcing us to act as if the revolution is still in place," said Mahmoud Afify, a spokesman for the opposition faction, Egypt Revolution Youth Movement.
Story Code: 102390