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Cablegate: Muslim Brotherhood Announces Boycott of Local

VZCZCXRO5163
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #0693 0981209
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071209Z APR 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8817
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS CAIRO 000693

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NSC FOR PASCUAL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM KISL EG
SUBJECT: MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD ANNOUNCES BOYCOTT OF LOCAL
ELECTIONS

REF: A. CAIRO 389
B. CAIRO 448
C. CAIRO 495
D. CAIRO 677

Sensitive but unclassified. Not for Internet distribution.

1. (SBU) On April 7, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), which up
until now had urged Egyptians to participate in the April 8
local council elections, called on voters to boycott. The
full text of the MB's statement is posted on the
organization's website (translated text at para 3). The MB's
Deputy Supreme Guide, Mohamed Habib, separately announced
that the organization is withdrawing its 20 candidates from
the election. According to leading MB member Essam El Erian,
out of 10,000 MB candidates that originally planned to
contest the elections, only 498 were able to register, and
only 20 of those actually appeared on the official candidate
lists, issued following a lengthy government review (ref D).
The MB reportedly filed 3,192 lawsuits demanding that its
candidates be reinstated on the ballots, and has thus far won
2,664 of the cases, but the government has ignored the court
orders.

2. (SBU) The MB's boycott is likely to further decrease the
already low voter turnout anticipated for April 8. Many
Egyptians we have spoken to are still unaware, only one day
before the elections, that balloting is due to take place.
Even ruling party contacts have told us that, at this point,
the elections are largely "for show."

3. (U) Full text of MB statement:

In the name of God

A Statement by the Muslim Brotherhood Regarding Its Final
Position on the Local Elections

The Egyptian regime has dealt with the local council
elections in a manner that alienated all effective and active
forces in Egyptian society, with the MB at the heart of them.
The regime engaged in a variety of obstructionist methods,
from barring the nominations of candidates and arresting over
900 members of the MB, to ignoring court decisions that
ordered the names of excluded candidates to be put on the
ballot and the elections in several governorates halted.

Based on the above, we would like to reiterate the following:

Firstly, we will continue to struggle politically and legally
until we annul the results of the local elections, if indeed
they are held.

Secondly, we call on the Egyptian people to boycott the
elections tomorrow, out of respect for the legitimate
judicial rulings that have been flagrantly ignored and
disrespected by the government.

Thirdly, we will continue to stand up to totalitarianism and
corruption, and peacefully pursue reform and change through
constitutional and legal channels, in a way that achieves the
renaissance of our homeland, and the advancement of our
nation.

We are deeply grateful to the MB members who have sacrificed
and remained persistent, as they are fulfilling God's will,
and achieving the interests of the Egyptian people and our
homeland. We also thank the masses of our beloved supporters
who have buoyed us through all of these ordeals and crises.

End statement.


RICCIARDONE

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