Egypt's election and future of Islamists

November 28, 2010

Egypt's upcoming parliamentary elections, which is due to be held throughout the country next week, has fundamental differences with the one held in the country in 2005.

Hosni Mubarak's efforts to pave the way for the victory of his son Jamal Mubarak at the 2011 presidential elections has cast a shadow over the country's parliamentary elections.
According to Egypt's constitutional law, all presidential candidates must gain two third of votes by representatives at the 445-member parliament to become eligible to compete at the presidential elections.
In the 2005 elections, the powerful Muslim Brotherhood group, which ran independently in the elections, won 88 seats in the parliament.
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most influential political and religious group, enjoys widespread public support across Egypt, the Arab world as well as among Sunni Muslim nations.
The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by Hassan al Bana Rohani, who was a Sunni, in the coastal city of Ismailia. The peak of the brotherhood's conflict with Egypt's secular government dates back to the 1950s.
Despite the Muslim Brotherhood's cooperation with Egyptian generals in the 1952 coup against King Malek Farouk, they made an attempt to assassinate President Jamal Abdul Nasser. The move was met with the violent reaction of government forces.
Armed conflict between the brotherhood and the government ended with the August 29, 1966 execution of Seyed Qotb, an influential Egyptian leader. However, the movement started its underground secret activities.
Seyed Qotb, who was initially one of Egypt's secular intellectuals, decided to join the Muslim brotherhood and continue the extremist path of its founding members after a four-year trip to America where he witnessed much abuse against the African-American community.
The group's 82 years of experience as a party and their social activities, in particular their efforts to establish charity and orphan aid institutions created immense popularity for them in Egypt and across the Muslim world.
It is widely believed that currently, supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood can be found in 73 Islamic and non-Islamic states, carrying out political activities both secretly and explicitly.
Hosni Mubarak's efforts over the past decade for declaring his son Jamal Mubarak as his successor and creating a regime generally viewed as hereditary, has caused severe disputes between the Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Authorities in Egypt refused to allow the Muslim Brotherhood to compete in the country's previous round of parliamentary elections, but members of the influential political group ran as independent candidates and gained 20% of the parliamentary seats.
Over the course of the past month, with the launch of the election campaigns in Egypt, Mubarak's government not only has banned the Muslim Brotherhood from running in the elections, but also arrested members of the group under various pretexts.
The arrest of these members puts their political future in jeopardy as based on the country's election regulations, those who have been arrested and held for over 15 days on political and security charges are not allowed to participate in the elections.
Currently, Egypt's ruling party is seeking to take over all seats in the parliament and is making use of all governmental resource to secure a decisive victory in the parliamentary elections.
However, despite the security measures adopted by Egyptian authorities in the past two years, the Muslim Brotherhood has been preparing a secret layer from its third level members to compete in the elections. This group is secretly receiving financial support from the Muslim political party.
It is widely estimated that the ruling party will win the majority of parliamentary seats in the upcoming elections in Egypt.
Meanwhile, it is also believed that in Egypt's 2011 presidential election, 83-year-old Hosni Mubarak will run for the ruling party, and will gain control of the nation's presidency once again and for the seventh time.
Considering Mubarak's health condition and the possibility of his death, the ruling party will choose his son as head of the party so that in the case of Mubarak's sudden death, his son will become the designated heir.
The same scenario that was played out in Syria in the year 2000 will be carried out in Egypt where Bashar al-Assad was appointed as president by the Syrian government following the sudden death of his father Hafez Assad.
The reason for such prediction is that security and intelligence forces in Egypt will never allow someone from outside of the military and intelligence circle to take control of power.
On the other hand, the reason behind the U.S. and European countries' silence on the violation of democratic principles in Egypt is due to their fears that Islamic groups may be gaining power in the country.
The U.S. attaches great importance to ensuring security along the borders of the Zionist regime. Islamic groups gaining power in Egypt may strengthen their ties with the Islamic movements of Palestine -- a move which may eventually threaten the Israeli regime.
Therefore, the United States and the European Union, who are worried about the future of Egypt after Hosni Mubarak, would rather see the power slowly and gently shift to Hosni's son Jamal in the hope that the Islamic groups are gradually eliminated from the country's political stage.
(Source: Press TV)