Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Egyptian parliamentary election campaigns heat up

Dear readers

We are approximately a month away from the Egyptian parliamentary elections. Hang on to your seatbelts!

The Wafd Party has fielded 332 list-based candidates in 46 electoral constituencies, and 96 individual candidates in 83 constituencies for the upcoming elections. Wafd Party President al-Sayed al-Badawy says there are 23 Coptic candidates on the lists, and 52 female candidates on the lists. Four former members of the NDP were nominated by the Wafd in the Red Sea, Qena, Minya and Sharqiya.

[One important point, it matters where your name is on the list. If your name is on the bottom of the list, and your party does not get very many votes, you will not get a seat in parliament.]

There has been large turnout for candidacy applications for parliament. The Egyptian Bloc, the Freedom party, and Wafd Party all have former NDP candidates on their list.

I am pleased to report that President Obama has asked Field Marshall Tantawi to end the state of emergency, and to end military trials of civilians.

I am sad to report that two activists and bloggers have been summoned by the military prosecutor for questioning regarding the Maspero violence. The bloggers are Alaa Abd El Fattah, and Bahaa Saber. One of the blogger's father reportedly remarked, " we are at a stage where the regime cannot stand freedom of expression anymore and wants to curb it. . ." Both have previously been arrested under Mubarak.

Meanwhile, as elections approach, NGOs say they are experiencing harassment from the government. The Justice Ministry is targeting NGOs who are allegedly receiving foreign funding and are not registered with the Ministry of Social Solidarity.

Sources shortly.~ WMB

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