Official figures released by the Doctors Syndicate on Monday have confirmed significant gains by the Independent Movement in a body that has traditionally seen success by Brotherhood-affiliated professionals.
The Independent Movement won 11 of the syndicate’s board seats, while the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Doctors for Egypt” won only one of the board’s contested seats. Two of the winners, Amr Shoura and Imtiaz Hassoona, were part of a team that coordinated the 2012 doctors strike. Ahmed Al-Barra, representing the central delta region, was the lone Brotherhood winner in the election that took place last Friday.
More than 18,000 valid votes were cast in the elections, according to the syndicate, with the independent bloc receiving 3,000 more votes than Doctors for Egypt.
The midterm elections concerned one half of the seats of the syndicate’s board and half of the seats of syndicate branches across Egypt’s governorates.
Senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Ali Bishr considered the level of the group’s success “satisfactory under exceptional conditions and special hardship taking place in the whole country,” according to the Brotherhood’s English website.
He also said the Muslim Brotherhood bloc’s participation in the syndicate elections “has nothing to do with the coup,” saying it was considered a “vocational poll” that primarily serves members of the profession and “called by elected panels, not coup authorities, and run by elected members of the profession”.
“What we refuse to participate in are parliamentary assembly elections directly linked to coup authorities, as political processes,” he said, adding that Brotherhood-affiliated leaders of the syndicate were being detained.
“The exceptional conditions of incarceration, persecution and vilification of the Brotherhood after the coup impacted the results,” said Bishr.
The Free Egyptians Party released a statement congratulating the Independent Movement, calling it a “complement to the revolutions of 25 January and 30 June” and saying it had “liberated” the syndicate from “the grip of religious extremists”.
The syndicate still plans to move forward with its partial strike, scheduled to begin on 1 January. Its general assembly agreed to take “escalatory measures to pressure concerned authorities to implement the [Staff Law] in order to improve healthcare services offered to citizens.”
The Staff Law would organise financial, administrative, and technical affairs for all medical professions. It would potentially secure EGP 3,000 salary for medical doctors and provide sweeping reform including providing young doctors with training in administrative matters.