Al-Wafd Party Chairman El-Sayed El-Badawi met with President Mohamed Morsy Monday night over the objections of the National Salvation Front (NSF).
El-Badawi, whose party is a founding member of the NSF, did not disclose the results of the meeting to members of Al-Wafd, the NSF, or the media.
The meeting took place at the presidential palace and was also attended by Al-Wasat Party Chairman Abul Ela Madi. The agenda was the “continuation of national dialogue and expanding the scope of participation,” the presidency said in a statement.
El-Badawi’s decision to meet Morsy was controversial because the NSF, a broad coalition of opposition parties and groups that Al-Wafd is a member of, has refused to hold talks with the president unless he postpones the referendum on the constitution scheduled for Saturday.
“Al-Wafd Party affirms the position taken by the National Salvation Front regarding the constitution and the referendum,” said El-Badawi who did not explain why he met Morsy.
He added that postponing the referendum would clear the way for more national dialogue and lead to a constitution that enjoys broader consensus.
NSF coordinator and Al-Dostour Party Chairman Mohamed ElBaradei told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour Monday night that the CSF rejects Morsy’s calls to dialogue because the talks would not be on even ground.
“[Morsy] has to postpone the referendum and rescind his decree giving him sweeping powers since he only cancelled some of them. Then we will meet tomorrow if he wants. We will not hold talks at the edge of a sword,” said ElBaradei.
El-Badawi’s decision to meet Morsy has caused internal outrage within his party. Al-Wafd high board member and Shura Council Member of Parliament Salah Al-Sayegh called on the high board to dismiss El-Badawi from office for meeting the president.
“El-Sayed El-Badawi has to uphold the decisions of the National Salvation Front in which Al-Wafd is strongly represented, especially when it comes to the front’s decision not to hold talks with Morsy unless the referendum is postponed.”