CAIRO: The new head of Al-Wafd party El-Sayed El-Badawy called on Egyptians to cast their votes during the People’s Assembly (PA) elections next fall and be “the true observers of the elections,” according to an online news portal.
El-Badawy refused international monitoring of the PA’s upcoming elections claiming that international bodies are unable to overlook balloting stations across all governorates, reported masrawy.com.
“National monitoring is much stronger than international monitoring,” he was quoted as saying.
El-Badawy added that by going to polling stations to cast their votes, Egyptians will ensure that fraud and thuggery do not take place.
He was referring to a sweeping majority win for the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) during the Shoura Council elections earlier this month, which opposition parties deemed were rigged.
“El-Badawy is referring to elections that do not exist; this is laughable” coordinator of the Kefaya Movement for Change Hamdy Qandil told Daily News Egypt, adding that since the constitutional amendments of March 26, 2007 “he has not witnessed legitimate elections.”
“Parliamentary seats have become investment projects administered by Ahmed Ezz,” he added.
The recently elected head of Al-Wafd cited his party’s recent election as a sign of democratic triumph, maintaining that Al-Wafd is determined to run for the next parliamentary elections despite calls by other opposition parties for a collective boycott.
Twenty members of opposition Al-Wafd will contest seats in the People Assembly’s slated for October, he added.
Meanwhile, Qandil remained skeptical about Al-Wafd’s statements.
“I fear that his [El-Badawy’s] recent activity on the political arena is nothing but an act,” said Qandil.
He alleged that Al-Wafd struck a cover deal with the NDP to secure 20 seats in the upcoming elections.
“Most opposition parties aim for a sweeping majority, not a mere 3-5 percent representation. Everyone knows that the Muslim Brotherhood’s seats will be replaced by members of Al-Wafd,” Qandil said.
In March, local media reported that Al-Wafd will secure seats in parliament in exchange for not supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. The seats would be from those currently held by Brotherhood MPs, the paper claimed.
However, both Al-Wafd NDP members have previously denied to the media that any deals have been struck between parties ahead of PA elections.