Egypt opposition groups discuss boycotting parliamentary elections
Former UN atomic energy agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei's National Coalition for Change (NCC) met with the Muslim Brotherhood for talks on boycotting Egypt's upcoming People's Assembly election, Egyptian media reported on Thursday.
Hassan Nafaa, coordinator of the NCC met with the Muslim Brotherhood's General Guide Mohamed Badie on Wednesday, the independent daily al-Masry al-Youm reported.
Nafaa said the Brotherhood, a member of the NCC, "was ready to accept any collective position adopted by the opposition towards the coming elections, including a boycott if it was supported by consensus," according to al-Masry al-Youm, DPA reported.
The Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition party, is technically banned in the country, but places members in parliament as independents.
A Brotherhood spokesperson said the group supported ElBaradei's earlier calls for a boycott of the elections for the People's Assembly, Egypt's lower house of parliament, in order to deprive the regime of legitimacy.
Rights groups and the Egyptian opposition complained of corruption and fraud in last month's elections for the Shura Council, Egypt's upper house of parliament.
The ruling National Democratic Party won a sweeping majority of the seats. The Brotherhood, which ran 14 candidates but did not win any seats, accused security services of arresting Brotherhood candidates and supporters during the election campaign and as voting took place.
The People's Assembly elections will come ahead of crucial 2011 presidential elections.
ElBaradei, a Nobel laureate, has become a high profile activist since his return to Egypt early this year.
He had hinted last year that he would consider running for the presidency if the conditions were right. Since then, he has said that his participation would only grant legitimacy to a corrupt election process.
ElBaradei's National Coalition for Change, which includes several opposition groups and movements, aims to pressure the government into enacting major political reforms, including electoral changes.