A lawsuit asking to delay Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections has left the country’s political forces taken aback amid a scramble to form alliances before the expected polls. The suit – filed by former independent MP and businessman Hamdy El-Fakharany with Cairo’s Administrative Justice Court – argues that the polls, scheduled for later this year, must be delayed for a year or even more. “This one year delay is necessary until security forces are strong enough to safeguard candidates and election campaigns against any possible terrorist attacks,” said El-Fakharany’s lawsuit, adding that “the group of the Muslim Brotherhood … could exploit the polls to attack its arch rivals – including the candidates of political secular forces, non-Islamist independents and even the ultraconservative Nour Party – with the objective of dragging the country into a Syrian-style civil war.” In an interview with a private television channel last week, El-Fakharany said that “the number of candidates in the coming parliamentary polls could surge to as high as 60,000 and in which case the Muslim Brotherhood could exploit election campaigns and tours to explode bombs, mount acts of terrorism and sabotage and kill its political opponents.”
El-Fakharany’s lawsuit said that “security forces, now in a war of attrition against the Brotherhood on several fronts, will not be able to face another front against the terrorist group, taking into account that this front will be opened on the level of all Egypt’s 27 governorates.”
He also argued that the new constitution does not stipulate that parliamentary polls must be held at a certain date.
“Only article 230 [of the constitution] stipulates that preparations for the first parliamentary polls must begin within six months from the date of the passing of the new constitution in a public referendum [in January 2014], but it left the date when these polls must be held to the High Elections Commission (HEC),” said the lawsuit, adding that “President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi already invited the HEC to meet on 15 July.”