Arab Spring Update: Egyptian Activists Want Elections Delayed, Fear Muslim Brotherhood Will Turn Egypt Into Islamic Cesspool


Egypt Islamists, liberals form alliance ahead of polls. (AFP)

Egyptian activists want the September election delayed. They fear that Islamists and former regime members will turn the country into a cesspool.
The LA Times reported:

Sensing the revolution that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak is slipping from their grasp, activists and opposition groups are pressuring the ruling military council to postpone Egypt’s elections in September amid fears that Islamists and members of the former regime will gain too much power.

The attempt by fledgling political parties to win more time to organize coincides with a renewed push to draft a new constitution before the parliamentary elections so that no political bloc, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, will have unchecked influence to set the laws of the land.

The pressing concern among independents and secularists is that the Brotherhood, the nation’s largest and best-organized party, may win about 25% of the seats in parliament and control even more through a coalition. This could give the organization the power to infuse the new constitution with conservative Islamic ideals to limit rights for women and non-Muslims.

“The Brotherhood is tyrannical in its opinions and views, and I think they will take the side of the Islamist businessmen who fund it and have strict Islamic ideologies,” said Khalid Sayed, a member of the Jan. 25 Youth Coalition. “Whatever constitution they might form would not fulfill the demands of Egyptians for civil rights and democracy.”

The other worry is that members of the former ruling National Democratic Party will run as independents or merge with new parties. Mubarak, his sons and his Cabinet ministers are facing corruption trials, but many businessmen and tycoons at the core of the NDP still have the clout to manipulate clans and regional leaders to deliver votes from the Nile Delta to the southern deserts.

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