Mubarak hits back at opposition

Dec. 14, 2010 at 11:10 AM
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CAIRO, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Opposition leaders in Egypt shouldn't have wasted political capital on talks of a boycott, said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak's National Democratic Party trounced members of the opposition in November parliamentary elections, wiping the Muslim Brotherhood off the political map.

Mubarak said he hoped that his rivals had achieved better results at the polls. "And I wish they hadn't wasted their efforts in arguments about boycotting the election and then actually participating in it and then announcing that they are withdrawing from the election over doubts about its results," he was quoted by Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm as saying.

The Muslim Brotherhood ignored calls for an election boycott but pulled out of the race after none of its independent candidates made it past the first round of voting.

The Muslim Brotherhood had complained during the election that ballot boxes were stuffed and the election was received with widespread international criticism.

Mubarak, the Egyptian newspaper said, recognized some discrepancies in the polls but said the voting was largely transparent.

The 82-year-old president said the election "with all the positive and negative points" was an "important step" in Egypt's political culture.

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