Following the murder of Al-Nour Party candidate Mostafa Abdel Rahman, the only Islamist candidate in parliamentary elections in North Sinai, other candidates of the region are wary of participating in elections.
Five other candidates reportedly withdrew from the elections race, which was expected to take place in the second phase.
Khaled Arafat, chief of the Nasserist Al-Karama Party, which decided to boycott the upcoming elections, told Daily News Egypt on Tuesday: “We decided to boycott because of the overall political situation, not only because of the electoral process but also because of the unrest accompanied with the war on terror.”
Candidates fear walking outside; there are explosions every day, no room for meetings, conferences, promotion. Citizens are also afraid to go vote, according to Arafat.
“Security men are doing an enormous effort. However, they are barely able to protect facilities; it is impossible to protect every individual in his home, especially as those are anonymous militants,” he added, suggesting that representatives of North Sinai constituencies are appointed directly by the state.
The National Defence Council decided on Sunday to extend the curfew for three more months in some areas of North Sinai, in northern Rafah passing by international borders to Al-Awaga, from western Al-Arish to Al-Halal Mountain and from South Al-Halal Mountain to Al-Awaga.
It was decided that the curfew begins at 5 pm and ends at 7 am the following day. Any person who violates the curfew will be imprisoned according to law 162/1958.
Parliamentary elections in North Sinai are taking place amidst an unstable security environment, the violent targeting of candidates and judges, and turbulent weather conditions. Telecommunication networks are also currently down in North Sinai.