Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

Egypt: Aswany Calls to Boycott Elections, Exclude Shafiq

Prominent novelist and activist Alaa Al-Aswany calls on people to boycott the second round of Egypt's presidential election scheduled for June 16 - 17.

Competing in the second round are the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi and former Mubarak aide Ahmed Shafiq.

Aswany also called on people to demand the exclusion of Shafiq, ask for an investigation in electoral violations and start over with transparent elections.

"There is no meaning in voting after rigging was exposed", Aswany posted on Twitter, adding that reports filed against Shafiq must be investigated a 100 times before the election.

Aswany accused the ruling military council of protecting Shafiq and pushing him to office to secure the interests of "Mubarak's thieves and drain the revolution".

He insisted that boycotting the election must not be done through individual efforts but through collective campaigns and street mobilizations targeting the exclusion of Shafiq. He expressed wishes that the second round would be between Mursi and Hamdeen Sabahi instead.

Aswany criticized the Brotherhood for not calling for Shafiq's exclusion or an investigation in rigging allegations. "The revolution must endure the battle alone", he said.

Aswany argued that when rigging is involved, the battle is in the streets, not ballot boxes and that Shafiq won through forgery.

"The revolution must boycott the election and return to the squares and pressure the ruling military council... that is our only weapon", he said.

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