The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

More electoral violence

Rather nasty stuff:

CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt's parliamentary polls claimed a second victim when supporters of a newly-elected MP seized backers of a losing candidate, tied them to the back of tractors and dragged them through the streets, police said.

Another 21 people were wounded, some of them seriously, in the incident in the neighbouring villages of Al-Abshitiya and Dansho, some 130 kilometres (80 miles) northwest of Cairo.

The victims lay in their blood for an hour before police were able to disperse the mob with tear-gas, police said.

The constituency in the Gharbiya governorate which voted in last week's second phase of legislative elections has been the scene of several incidents since the victory of an independent candidate, police General Sayyed Gaber.

Supporters of losing candidate Mohammed Kamel Marai from President Hosni Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) had accused the police of interfering in favour of the general and rigging the results.

The general's supporters launched their deadly attack after false rumours were spread that young women from their area had been kidnapped by NDP thugs.
The kind of violence we've seen seems to be very dependent on local dynamics when compared to the state violence of 2000. In this case--a police figure backed by local constabulary--it seems to be a sign of a waning regime hold over politics rather than state intervention. It's pretty clear already that the buzzword of this election is "passive neutrality," which is used to describe the inaction of police and other security forces in the face of political thuggery. And it's not just the NDP that is using it.