Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei has called for a boycott of parliamentary elections scheduled to begin in April as a means of protesting against the government.
“Boycotting the election is the fastest way to expose fake democracy and confirm our credibility,” he wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
“(I) called for (a) parliamentary election boycott in 2010 to expose sham democracy. Today I repeat my call, (I) will not be part of an act of deception,” he added.
President Mohamed Morsy has called for the election of the lower house of parliament, which will take place in four rounds, starting on April 27 in five of the country’s provinces, including Cairo.
The fourth and final round is scheduled to be held on June 19-20, with a possible run-off vote due on June 26-27.
Mr. Morsy’s move comes amid a deepening political dispute between the Islamist president and the mostly secular opposition.
Several opposition leaders have warned that the elections risk further deepening political divisions within the country.
Egypt has been without a lower house of parliament since June, when the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that the electoral rules were unconstitutional. The previous election had returned a vast majority for Islamist lawmakers.
The Shura Council, or the upper house of parliament, temporarily holds legislative authority until the legislature is elected.
Brotherhood criticizes call for boycott
The deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, Essam el-Erian, wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday that “running away from a popular test only means that some want to assume executive authority without a democratic mandate.”
The Egyptian president’s Brotherhood has emerged as the country’s most powerful political group while liberal, secular parties have trailed behind.