By Adham Youssef
A group of leftist, liberal parties and syndicates formed Sunday the “Egyptian Front” coalition, in preparation for Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections later this year, reported state-run MENA.
The coalition includes civil parties formed during ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s rule, including leftist Al-Tagammu Party and the liberal Ghad Party. The coalition also includes newly established parties including: the Conference Party; My Homeland Egypt Party led by former MP Mostafa Bakry; Egyptian Patriotic Movement founded by former prime minister and 2012 presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq; and the Modern Egypt Party.
Also joining the coalition are the Egyptian Trade Union Federation, the Federation of Craft Unions, and the General Union of Peasants.
The coalition issued a document Sunday highlighting its main objectives with a focus on “building a democratic national modern state with stressing the values of freedom, social justice and equality between citizens”.
The coalition’s agenda constitutes a series of ten major points, starting with its desire of “standing against plots that aim to divide and destroy the nation”. The coalition, a strong backer of President Al-Sisi’s government, also considers state reform, national security, and economic development as essential objectives.
Al-Tagammu Party attorney Alaa Essam said that although the coalition includes parties that are ideologically different from Al-Tagammu Party, the main aim for this coalition is “to counter religious fascism and to stand as a strong civil bloc against the Muslim Brotherhood”
Amid the lack of strong parties, Islamist entities like the Al-Nour party and individual candidates of the now banned Muslim Brotherhood could gain more seats in the new parliament, said Essam.
Responding to questions on their not joining other left-leaning alliances, Essam said the current period should not witness a confrontation between the left and the right. Rather, Essam said that “all civilian entities should unite and oblige its MPs to safeguard the demands of the 25 January and 30 June by issuing efficient legal amendments”.
“Instead of civil parties wasting the efforts and money trying to struggle on its own, the coalition is an attempt to reduce such waste of resources,” said Hisham Hashem, deputy of the Egyptian Patriotic Movement.
With the current political scene lacking several prominent Islamist parties like the Freedom and Justice Party, political coalitions are currently regrouping for the upcoming parliamentary elections. This includes new coalitions such as the Democratic Current coalition, formed in June, the Egyptian Wafd collation, and the Amr Moussa-led Egyptian Nation Alliance.
The Supreme Electoral Commission is yet to announce the exact date of the parliamentary elections.