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Major parties withdraw from ‘Egypt’s Support’ parliamentary coalition - Daily News Egypt

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Major parties withdraw from ‘Egypt’s Support’ parliamentary coalition

FEP spokesperson counters coalition claim of 400 members, places figure at fewer than 200

The Free Egyptians Party (FEP), the Future of a Nation party (FNP), and the Al-Wafd party have announced they will not join the ‘Egypt’s Support’ parliamentary formed by Sameh Seif El-Yazal amid of series of concerns and misinformation.

The three parties, which together control 162 of the 454 seats in the Egyptian parliament and were the three highest recipients of votes in the recent parliamentary elections, have refused to join amid speculation that Seif El-Yazal’s coalition will take over the parliament and unify voices in an attempt to restore a facsimile of Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP), which was dissolved after the 25 January 2011 revolution.

The Free Egyptians Party (FEP), which holds 65 seats in parliament and is led by business tycoon Naguib Sawirirs, was the first to criticise the coalition, focusing on its failure to present a political vision. Party spokesperson Shehab Waguih stated in a Monday press conference that the “coalition is trying to give an impression that it is becoming a ruling party – a new NDP – without even having the means of the NDP”.

Earlier this week, the FEP levied penalties against six of its members who attended a meeting organised by ‘Egypt’s Support’ and signed its declaration. Some members had informed the FEP’s leadership of their attendance, according to Waguih, but the party was surprised by various statements made on behalf of the coalition members, in which there was an exaggeration of the number of FEP members present at the meeting.

Waguih claims that ‘Egypt’s Support’ has exaggerated the number of members it has recruited at 400.

“We have accurate information that no more than 197 members attended their last meeting, and the number of those who signed the document is actually lower.”

Additionally, the coalition’s declaration violates laws organising political parties in Egypt, according to Waguih.

“Taking a closer look at the articles of their document, we will find that the so-called coalition’s objectives and aspirations have extended beyond a parliamentary coalition and turned into those of a political party,” Waguih said.

The coalition’s declaration establishes membership fees, bureaus and headquarters in different governorates, preparations for local municipalities’ elections, all of which are components of a political party. However, ‘Egypt’s Support’ is not a licensed political party.

“The coalition states that decisions approved by ‘a majority’ are to be followed by all members. I believe that a small elite controlling the coalition aims at controlling the entire parliament through this coalition. That is why FEP was happy to know that other parties rejected these manipulations,” Waguih said.

Commenting on the FEP’s involvement with the For the Love of Egypt electoral list, Waguih said: “What happened is that the party was addressed, among fears of the state that an Islamic, extremist current could come back to political life and win parliamentary seats, so it should be faced. After we agreed on joining the list for such purposes, in practice, many problems were revealed. It is also important to highlight the differences between ‘For the Love of Egypt’, which was for electoral purposes, and this new coalition,” he concluded.

The FEP’s decision to withdraw was mirrored by same decision by the Future of a Nation Party (FNP) when it announced its withdrawal from the ‘Egypt’s Support’ coalition on Sunday.

FNP party president, Mohamed Badran, described Seif El-Yazal’s coalition as “seeking to divide the parliament like a cake”, insisting once more on the party’s strong support for President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

FNP won 53 seats in the parliament, through individual-system elections and also by joining For the Love of Egypt.

Following announcements by the FEP and FNP, the Al-Wafd Party also announced that it would not join the ‘Egypt’s Support’ coalition, in a meeting between members of the party’s higher committee Sunday, Al-Wafd’s news website reported.

Al-Wafd is seeking to establish its own coalition inside the parliament, called Al-Umma Al-Masriya (The Egyptian Nation); however, the party has yet to define the ethos and constituting members of this tentative coalition.

With 44 seats in parliament Al-Wafd is the third largest party to abandon Seif El-Yazal’s coalition following the FEP and FNP. Al-Wafd had 10 winning candidates on Seif El-Yazal’s electoral list For the Love of Egypt. END
TAGS: Free Egyptians Party, Future of a Nation Party, Al-Wafd, parliamentary elections, parliament 2015, political parties, Sameh Seif El-Yazal, Naguib Sawiris, Mohamed Badran, El-Sayed El-Badawi

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