The World

Egyptians: Violence Should Put Elections on Hold

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two prominent women in Egypt's unfolding revolution say protest violence should put elections on hold. "It will be a circus," said Gigi Ibrahim, who is flying home from New York on Wednesday and plans to go straight from the airport to Tahrir Square.

NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)--Two women prominent in Egypt's revolutionary movement say parliamentary elections scheduled to start Nov. 28 should be cancelled in light of the violence.

"I don't think that we should have any elections with the Security Council of Armed Forces in power," activist Al Shimaa Haidar, 21, said in an interview Monday evening during a protest outside the Egyptian consulate here.

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"Mubarak controlled Egypt for 30 years and the SCAF is merely an extension of him," she continued, referring to Hosni Mubarak, the strongman president ousted in February. "Having an election right now; it is like having an election under Mubarak's time."

Gigi Ibrahim, 24, a prominent revolutionary, agreed. "These elections will be a big show, a big circus," she said in an interview on Sunday in New York. "It is not going to be like in Tunisia. These elections are not going to fulfill any demands."

Ibrahim said elections held under the supervision of the military council will only benefit the military council."

Ibrahim spoke on Sunday in front of few Egyptian-Americans gathered in front of the headquarters of the United Nations. Crying, she said the army was firing a type of tear gas that was extremely dangerous and only used in wartime.

The company producing the gas, she said, is Combined Tactical System of Jamestown, Pa.

Calls for comment on Tuesday ended in the company's voicemail system.

Ibrahim will be back in Egypt on Wednesday and plans to join the demonstrators right away. "I'm going from the airport to Tahrir."

On Saturday, Nov. 19, the clashes started after soldiers expelled dozens of protesters who were sitting in protest of the military council that has refused to give up power. The army has used extreme violence against the protesters, including robber bullets, live ammunitions and tear gas, according to various news sources and protesters.

After three days of intense clashes and dozens of killings, the Egyptian government resigned on Monday.

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I especially appreciate this reporter and womenenews for this report about the situation for women in Egypt's revolution.