Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said he would boycott the upcoming parliamentary polls, refusing President Mohamed Morsi’s call for elections.
The National Salvation Front and Dostour Party leader said on his twitter account that he had “called for parliamentary election boycott in 2010 to expose sham democracy. Today I repeat my call, [we] will not be part of an act of deception.”
In 2010 ElBaradei called for boycotting parliamentary elections under former President Hosni Mubarak. The result was that Mubarak’s National Democratic Party gained over 98 percent of seats, casting doubt on the state’s commitment to democracy. Mubarak was ousted two months later in a popular revolt.
The National Salvation Front, a coalition of secular parties and groups from across the political spectrum, called Morsi’s decision “disastrous” through its spokesperson Khaled Dawoud.
“The Front considers this decision disastrous, it is leading the country to the brink. We need a competent, neutral cabinet to run elections and deal with the many crises facing the country,” Dawoud said on the Telt Al Talata talk show Friday night.
He added that Morsi failed to provide any guarantees that the elections would be free and fair and that the NSF is leaning towards boycotting the elections, with an official announcement set to be made either Sunday or Monday.
NSF leaders have been threatening to boycott the elections for a while now, insisting their participation hinged on Morsi meeting their demands, which included dismissing Prime Minister Hesham Qandil’s cabinet and appointing a “national salvation” neutral cabinet to run the elections.
The opposition had also called on Morsi to postpone the elections, saying the country is not ready yet, demanded he remove Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah whom he appointed unilaterally in November alongside the formation of a constitutional review committee tasked with suggesting amendments to controversial and disputed articles of the newly adopted constitution. (Daily news Egypt)