Opposition debates ElBaradei’s appeal to boycott presidential race

Egyptian opposition parties are currently debating calls by reform campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei for a popular boycott of Egypt’s upcoming presidential election, slated for September.

Mostafa al-Tawil, honorary president of the liberal opposition Wafd Party, for his part, voiced opposition to the proposal.

“It would bury the opposition parties alive,” he said, noting that the election represented an opportunity for political parties to launch effective popular campaigns.

“Opposition candidates must compete against President Mubarak,” he added. “That’s why opposition parties were established in the first place.”

Refaat al-Saeed, president of the leftist opposition Tagammu Party, however, said his party was still deliberating ElBaradei's appeal.

“We have total respect for ElBaradei,” he said. “But this doesn’t mean we will follow him blindly."

According to opposition Nasserist Party Vice President Ahmed al-Gammal, meanwhile, ElBaradei’s call "makes sense.”

“After all," he said, "the last parliamentary elections were rigged."

Al-Gammal went on to express hope that guarantees for a fair electoral process would be established in advance of the upcoming presidential contest.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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