Friday, 24 June 2011

Essam Sharaf says delay in elections a good idea

Essam Sharaf, appointed by the ruling military council as prime minister, has departed from their stated position by suggesting that a delay in the plan to hold elections in September may be a good idea. “Postponing the elections would give the chance for a larger number of political parties to develop,” he said. This was not an off-the-cuff remark at a press conference. Rather, it was a response on an online service,, which would have given him time to reflect on what he was saying.

He also hinted that it might also be a good idea to draft a constitution before rather than after the elections as currently planned.

He emphasised that he was speaking in a personal capacity. He said that the cabinet would do all it could to ensure a fair and secure vote if the election went ahead as scheduled.

But the expression of his view, whether or not co-ordinated with the military high command, appears to support the campaign of the plethora of mainly liberal parties that they need more time to prepare. There is the other concern that the main beneficiaries of elections in September would be the Muslim Brotherhood, the most organised of political movements.

And the Muslim Brotherhood was very critical of the prime minister's comment. A leading figure said that the path laid out had already been accepted by a referendum on 19th March which approved amendments to the constitution by an overwhelming 77 per cent of the vote.

"The people want to transfer power to a civilian administration. This is in the interest of the country," said Sobhi Saleh, a Brotherhood leader. "The Muslim Brotherhood is against postponement and against drafting the constitution before elections."

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

No comments:

Post a Comment