Muslim Brotherhood, April 6, Revolutionary Socialists banned from student union elections

A photo for Cairo University May 19, 2008. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

  CAIRO, Nov. 1 (Aswat Masriya) – The Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education will start accepting Monday candidacy applications for student union elections after announcing the exclusion of students belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood, the April 6 Youth Movement and the Revolutionary Socialists.
A preliminary list of candidates will be announced on Thursday, with a final list after  appeals are settled due to be publicized on November 10. Campaigning will take place from Nov. 11-15 and election day will be on Nov. 16.

The student union elections come after a two-year hiatus, the last elections being held in 2013.

Cairo University President Gaber Nassar told Aswat Masriya that student elections will be conducted in accordance with the university bylaws and the university administration will not interfere in the process.

He stressed the importance of student participation in the elections to form a council that represents them.

He also urged candidates to abide by campaign rules and to refrain from using any partisan or religious solgans.

According to a source in the ministry of higher education, the ban on the Muslim Brotherhood-affliated students and that on April 6 members are based on court rulings designating the first a terrorist organization and the second banning its activities.

The source didn’t specify a reason for banning the Revolutionary Socialists.

Four camps have already emerged. The first one is an alliance including the banned groups and members of Al Dostour party. The second was established by the pro-regime Mostaqbal Watan party (The Nation’s Future Party) which had raked 30 seats in the first phase of the recent parliamentary elections running under the slogan Tahya Masr (Long Live Egypt), the slogan used in President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi’s presidential campaign.

The third camp is an alliance called Soot Tollab Masr (The Voice of Egypt’s Students) which seek to take politics out of university life, while the fourth includes independent students and remnants of former student unions.

The Ministry of Higher Education has made several amendments to the student activity bylaws which, critics say, curtail their participation in elections.

The ministry has disqualified certain students from running in the elections: non-Egyptians, those who didn’t pay the university fee of EGP 10, students who are not involved in student activities excluding freshmen, students who were punished by a  disciplinary committee and students who belong to a banned organization.

In an October statement, the Revolutionary Socialists rejected the new bylaws, questioning the “integrity” of the coming student union elections which they believe will be “the regime’s arm” in universities.

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