Runoff elections in four constituencies resumed Monday for Egyptians abroad, and will continue until 16 December for locals as well, according to the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC).
This is the last electoral phase in parliamentary elections.
According to official preliminary results, 26 candidates are competing over 13 seats distributed over one constituency in Alexandria, one in Beheira and two in Beni Suef. Political parties that made it to the runoffs include the Free Egyptians Party (FEP), the Future of a Nation Party (FNP), Al-Wafd, and a few others, with a majority of independents.
Meanwhile, a recent move by Sameh Seif El-Yazal stirred concerns among the political elite, following an announcement made in the name of the alliance. Seif El-Yazal, a former intelligence officer and current commentator on security affairs, runs the winning electoral alliance of 120 members, known as ‘For the Love of Egypt’, elected through the list-system.
The announcement, entitled “The document to support the state”, urged parliamentary members to drop “any party affiliation and political ideology in favour of the state and the people’s interest”, according to a copy of the document published in Al-Youm Al-Sabea newspaper last Thursday.
Despite the parliamentary law including an article that bans parliamentary members from switching political affiliations once elected, Al-Wafd Party said on its website Friday that it accepts the document.
On a different note, the FEP rejected the formation of such a coalition, in the absence of a clear political programme. The FEP won the largest share of seats inside the parliament as a party.
“We will cancel that part from the document,” Seif El-Yazal finally stated Sunday in statements to CBC channel. “Our alliance is neither against political pluralism nor against democracy, regardless of what other political parties think or whether or not they will join us.”
Seif El-Yazal added that ‘For the Love of Egypt’ currently has 400 members and that a speaker in the name of that alliance will be elected in a Friday meeting in the presence of all members.
Several politicians further said the phrase “supporting the state” was irritating, because it insinuates that non-members of the alliance would be working against the state.
Renowned TV commentator Ibrahim Eissa criticised ‘For the Love of Egypt’ in his show aired on Al-Qahera Wal Nas channel. In his Sunday episode, Eissa said: “All of this is to obtain power over the parliament in order to be able to vote in majority on orders received by telephone, under the control of security bodies. Anyone claiming the opposite would be lying to the people.”
Similar allegations were previously made by an electoral alliance named “Sahwet Misr” before it withdrew from the elections. Its spokesperson, Ramy Galal, previously told Daily News Egypt that members of the electoral list faced “security interference and pressure”.