Amr Moussa Considers Election Boycott
Former Arab League Secretary-General says pressure for boycott is growingSharjah, Asharq Al-Awsat—Leading opposition National Salvation Front figure, Amr Moussa, acknowledged that Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi was democratically elected, but confirmed that he is considering boycotting the forthcoming parliamentary elections, stressing that securing accomplishments on the ground is more important than democratic elections.
The Congress party leader informed Asharq Al-Awsat that “we, in the opposition, have plans related to securing a better life for the [Egyptian] people, in terms of the economy, justice, healthcare, education, and society in general.”
He confirmed that the Egyptian president will continue in power on the basis that he was democratically elected, but stressed that democratic elections are not everything.
He said, “This [democratic elections] are important but the people are waiting for results” asserting “that is more important.”
The former Arab League Secretary-General told Asharq Al-Awsat, “We had hoped for the formation of a national unity government in Egypt to resolve the crisis and for the elections to be postponed so that this government could focus on the economic file, however unfortunately this did not happen.”
He stressed, “As a result of this, we are all worried about Egypt and hope that the future will be better.”
In an interview with Sky News Arabia, Moussa confirmed that he is considering boycotting the parliamentary elections scheduled for April. He said, “I am truly inclined to boycott the elections, so long as everybody is boycotting, and I will review the position of the parties and ruling regime on this issue.”
He added that the opposition National Salvation Front is set to meet later today “to look at this issue and take the appropriate action.”
In an interview earlier this week with Britain’s The Daily Telegraph, Amr Moussa revealed that pressure for a boycott is growing. He stressed that he would prefer his opposition colleagues to consult before reaching a decision, something the newspaper described as an “implicit criticism” of Mohamed ElBaradei. ElBaradei had unilaterally called on his followers to boycott the April elections. However Moussa stressed that any electoral boycott would require unanimity, or at least consensus, to be effective. He also revealed that “a third party [in the opposition] are still reluctant and want to get into an electoral battle.”
Moussa stressed, “My personal preference when it comes to elections is always to run and to join in the electoral process, but Egypt is going through special circumstances most of them negative. The priorities are confused.”
He added, “We do not challenge the fact that the president was elected democratically, and that he is the president. But we differ with his choices. This is our right as citizens.”