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Al-Tagammu Party ‘kicked out’ at last minute before elections deadline - Daily News Egypt

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Al-Tagammu Party ‘kicked out’ at last minute before elections deadline

Alliance informed member he was taken off party’s list, and prevented from applying elsewhere, says party

Leftist Al-Tagammu Party announced Sunday evening that it had been shut off from the electoral alliance named “In the love of Egypt”.

The alliance was established nearly a year ago by Sameh Seif El-Yazal, a well-known political commentator specialised in security issues.

“The alliance members are the ones who asked Helal El-Dandarawy, Al-Tagammu’s vice-president, to join them in the upcoming electoral battle,” the party said in a statement. “Then, suddenly, five minutes before doors closed for candidates to apply, they informed us that he was taken off the list, and was even denied his file.”

The party interpreted the action as a ‘back stab’, saying that their member was prevented from seeking other electoral options at the last minute on purpose. “The judicial system will have its final say in the matter, but since we are committed – unlike the others – to this country’s well-being, to political and ethical means, we will still elect the same list,” the party concluded.

The incident draws attention to the party’s movements since the parliamentary elections were announced the first time in March. Despite the party’s leftist tendencies, its president, Sayed Abdul Aal, decided to join an electoral coalition named the “National Front Coalition”. This included former MPs and conservative liberal parties, such as the National Movement Party headed by former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.

Al-Tagammu, along with two other parties, later withdrew from that alliance. Instead, they aimed for the coalition organised by El-Yazal, also characterised by rightist tendencies that conflict with Al-Tagammu’s main principles, on labour rights and workers’ strikes, for instance.

One of the main members of the electoral alliance “In the love of Egypt” is the Free Egyptians Party (FEP) owned by business tycoon Naguib Sawiris.

When previously addressed on the issue, Magdy Sharabia, the party’s former secretary-general had told Daily News Egypt that Al-Tagammu was not to give up its ideologies. They would continue to stand for its beliefs inside the parliament, regardless of alliances formed during the phase of the elections, which is only aimed at acquiring more parliamentary seats.

The Al-Tagammu break-up also highlights a series of failed attempts to form unified electoral coalitions. Those are aimed at competing over 120 seats distributed across Egypt. A complete electoral coalition includes two lists of 45 members and two lists of 15 members, elected through the closed-list system.


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