Archive for January 18th, 2012

18/01/2012

Who Will Partner Egypt’s Muslim Brothers?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Will Kelleher*, Think Africa PressThe first democratic elections in Egypt in over 50 years drew to a close on Wednesday, January 11 with the final runoffs held in some of Daqahleya, Qena and South Sinai’s constituencies. Following the regional trend set by last year’s parliamentary elections in Morocco and Tunisia, Egypt’s Islamist parties are emerging as the clear victors of this political contest.

**Image: courtesy of Gigi Ibrahim | Source: Think Africa Press.

By its own estimates, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) has secured between 40-45% of the vote, making it the most popular party by some distance. The Al Nour party, which subscribes to the more rigid and conservative form of Salafist Islam, again defied observers who predicted its policies would be unpalatable to the electorate by securing around 20% of the vote.

Secular parties, whose supporters were integral to the anti-Mubarak protests in early 2011 and the anti-SCAF [Supreme Council of the Armed Forces] protests last December, have again largely underperformed and will further suffer from Naguib Sawiris’ decision to withdraw his Free Egyptians Party (FEP) from the forthcoming elections for the Shura Council, the upper house of Egypt’s bicameral Parliament.

Egypt remains in a state of political flux. Now the elections are drawing to a close, it remains to be seen which parties will form a lasting coalition with the Muslim Brotherhood and how this coalition will negotiate the transition of power from the SCAF-controlled interim government.

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18/01/2012

War on Gaza Three Years After – Urgent Assistance Still Needed

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva – The UN launched an emergency appeal for just over $300 million to assist Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank who are still dealing with the effects of the conflict that ended three years ago as well as various humanitarian needs.

Photo Credit:UN

Israel launched a three-week offensive in Gaza in December 2008 with the stated aim of ending rocket attacks by Hamas and other groups. At least 1,300 Palestinians were killed and some 5,300 were injured in the heavy bombardment and fighting in densely populated areas, which reduced homes, schools, hospitals and marketplaces to rubble.

The effects of the war still persist today and the humanitarian needs of the women, men and children of Gaza remain widespread and acute,” said Margot Ellis, Deputy Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The effects of the war still persist today and the humanitarian needs of the women, men and children of Gaza remain widespread and acute.”

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