February 28, 2011
Announced Egyptian Election Timetable Makes True Reform Difficult
Washington, DC – Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has announced an accelerated elections timetable, a move Human Rights First believes could undermine efforts to reform the nation’s existing government. According to today’s SCAF announcement, a referendum on constitutional amendments will take place in April 2011, followed by parliamentary elections in June 2011 and a presidential election in October 2011. “Today's announcement raises concerns that the military leadership may be seeking an electoral rubber stamp to preserve the status quo of a military dominated government, which Egypt has had since 1952,” said Human Rights First’s Neil Hicks. “This swift timetable will make it difficult for opposition political parties to organize or for new political groupings to coalesce and register.” The SCAF announcement comes on the heels of more violence in Egypt. Over the weekend, Egyptian security forces used force to disrupt protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square and in the city of Mansoura. Hicks observed that these actions and today’s announcement are raising concerns that Egypt may be reverting to business as usual in its form of government.