CAIRO (AFP) – Egypt’s largest liberal opposition party Wafd threatened on Tuesday to boycott a parliamentary election next month after state television refused to air its political advertisements.
A spokesman for the party, Mohammed Sherdi, told a news conference Wafd would boycott the election “if the government’s obstinacy towards the Wafd party and the refusal of its right to air political advertisements continues.”
Wafd was the first to announce it would contest the November election after Egyptian dissident and former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohammed ElBaradei called for a boycott.
Sherdi said state television refused to air the advertisement because it was not approved by the election committee.
“But this campaign has nothing to do with the election. It is a political advertisement for the group that has been in the works for five months,” he said.
The head of the state broadcaster, Osama al-Sheik, said on Monday that television would air such advertisements only if they were approved by the election committee.
The party was set to field 250 candidates for parliament, which has 508 elected seats. Ten other seats are presidential appointees.
The country’s largest opposition movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, has accused the government of cracking down on its members after it announced it would field about 200 candidates for the election.
Police arrested 70 Brotherhood campaign workers on Tuesday as they plastered campaign posters in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.