Egypt blames Muslim Brotherhood for 'expected' electricity crisis

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Electricity outages have become a common occurrence in several Egyptian provinces.

Electricity outages have become a common occurrence in several Egyptian provinces.

By Hussein Qabani

CAIRO - Egyptian officials have blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for an "expected" electricity crisis, accusing the Islamist group of destroying several electric transmission towers.

"This is a government attempt to politicize economic ills," Ahmed Abul Nour, an economics professor at the American University in Cairo, told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.

Several Egyptian government officials have recently accused the Brotherhood, from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails, of destroying electric transmission towers.

Interim Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi had said that the Brotherhood "was targeting transmission towers in remote areas".

"By doing this, darkness will blanket the whole country and affect hospitals, patients and factories," he said.

Mohamed Gamal, the head of projects at the state-run Egyptian Electric Holding Company also cited a plot to sabotage strategic electricity lines, blaming the Brotherhood for the alleged plot.

But Abul Nour, the AUC professor, described the accusations as "an attempt to escape from economic challenges such as the electricity crisis, which is caused by lack of enough fuel".

Emam Youssef, a leader of the pro-Morsi National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, said that the government accusations were an attempt to "fuel hatred".

"The accusations against the Brotherhood are an attempt to fuel hatred against a certain group because of its opposition to the ruling authorities," Emam, a member of the Salafist Al-Asala Party, told AA.

"The accusations are an attempt by the government to justify the failure of the coup leaders in leading the country," he added.

Electricity outages have become a common occurrence in several Egyptian provinces.

Last week, the Arabic language daily al-Shorouk reported that the outages are the first to have hit Egypt in the winter.

Electric outages often occur in Egypt in summer due to the high demand.

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