World Bulletin / News Desk
Teachers affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday withdrew from the second round of mid-term elections for the Egyptian Teachers' Union, citing an "atmosphere of suppression."
"There is a suppressive atmosphere that doesn't allow for a real electoral process," Adel Rayan, a member of the commission supervising the polls, told Anadolu Agency.
"We took this decision a long time ago in light of the violent security crackdown [on opponents of Egypt's army-backed government]," Rayan, who is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, added.
With 1.2 million members, Egypt's Teachers' Union represents Egypt's largest professional union by far.
The first round of elections was held on February 13 in 52 different polling centers.
Running under the slogan "Teachers' Alliance for Legitimacy," Muslim Brotherhood candidates failed to win a majority of seats in the first round of polling.
The second round of polling was held in 263 different polling centers.
Egyptian authorities have launched a massive crackdown on the Brotherhood, the movement from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails, since the democratically elected leader was unseated by the military last summer.
Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood leaders, members and sympathizers have since been rounded up on incitement-to-violence charges.
According to Rayan, authorities detained Brotherhood-linked union officials in the Nile Delta province of Fayoum on Wednesday, while some alliance candidates had been harassed by police.
Last December, the Brotherhood failed to win mid-term Medical Syndicate elections.
In mid-January, confidence was withdrawn from the Brotherhood-dominated board of Egypt's Engineers Syndicate.
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Brotherhood source says that the group's meetings and conferences were now being held outside Qatar, which is why he believes his residency in Doha won't be affected by the country's recent rapprochement with Egypt.
Ling is vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee and head of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee.