Egyptian voters were denied the ability to vote in areas where the government perceived strong support for the Muslim Brotherhood. The polls were guarded by police who stopped Egyptians from voting for the opposition. This weakened the government’s assertion that the constitutional changes in March were implemented to strengthen democracy.
The voters were denied access to vote in Awseem. Police officers armed with automatic rifles blockaded the locked entrance. Voters were told that the polling places were closed, or that the election occurred the following the day. Others were physically beaten by police, and one man was killed in the election violence.
The purpose of the government’s action was to deny the Muslim Brotherhood from gaining parliamentary seats. In the past few months, over 800 of the Muslim Brotherhood have been questioned or arrested by the government. The government’s fear is that if the Muslim Brotherhood gain power then they will transform the nation into a Muslim nation with Sharia law.
These actions by the government weaken its claim that the constitutional changes in March strengthened democracy by halting the emergency powers. The changes stripped authority from the judicial branch. This has strengthened the president and the legislature. It gave the government the power to bar Egyptians from voting for the Muslim Brotherhood, because of the perceived terrorist threat.
As expected, the Muslim Brotherhood, which previously was a leading opposition party, did not win a single seat in the preliminary results.
Washington Post. Egyptian Voters Impeded in Opposition Strongholds. 12 June 2007.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Violence Spoils Egyptian elections. 12 June 2007.
Los Angeles Times. Egypt’s dissidents held down by law. 13 June 2007.
Monsters and Critics News. Egypt’s ruling party sweeps Shura election contest. 13 June 2007.