Choosing a party

Daily News Egypt
5 Min Read

CAIRO: Egypt has been immersed in a political transition period for over a year. From the first multi-candidate presidential elections to the violence-marred parliamentary elections, the country has witnessed its fair share of positive and negative changes.

During the last few years, opposition parties have come to the forefront in the hopes of attracting people to their cause. Whether Al-Wafd, El-Ghad or any other party, each has taken a stab at unseating the National Democratic Party (NDP) and, as evidenced by the recent elections, none have come close, barring the Muslim Brotherhood’s startling success in parliamentary elections. The Daily Star Egypt took to the streets to see what people truly think of political parties in Egypt.

There is no multi-party system in Egypt. It is just a facade to show the western world that we are a democratic country. We have only one ruling party, which is the National Democratic Party.Laila, Housewife

I don’t trust any Egyptian party. What have they done to make us trust them? They kill and injure people in fights over the party itself. What we have on the Egyptian political scene now is black comedy.Mohammed, student

There is no real party to trust in Egypt; there is only the NDP, which is everything in this country. Whether right or wrong, nobody can either punish it or give it a reward. Mohammed, businessman

I used to think that there might be hope in the El-Ghad party, but now all are the same. We all saw what will happen to anybody who tries to tell the truth; he will be sent to jail.Al Sayed, car mechanic

I used to trust the Al-Wafd party. But after what happened [the shooting at the party’s headquarters] I don’t trust anyone. People in Al-Wafd became angry and they turned everything into a mess. I have lost hope in any political change in the country.Hend, secretary

I really respect the NDP. They divided themselves into the old guards and the new ones and so they compete with themselves and not with any other party. This is a clear indicator that there is no other functioning party in Egypt.Mohammed, unemployed

The only good party I can see is the Muslim Brotherhood. They do what a real party should; social work and help people. They are easily found everywhere. The most important thing is that they have a real leadership, set goals and [have] a lot of followers. What is really strange about this country is that the only group that can be called a party is considered illegal.Yosra, student

I think Egyptian parties turned out to be simply the buildings in which they exist. What do they do for Egyptian people? They talk to themselves and to the intellectuals and they act as if they don’t know that 50 percent of the Egyptian population can’t even write their names. Many Egyptian people only understand the language of who will make their life easier and the bread cheaper.Adel, dentist

I think that we have not had a multi-party system since the 1952 revolution; it is just a veneer. Maybe when we change the rules and laws that control the formation of Egyptian parties we may have real parties. Shaker, retired civil servant

All of the opposition newspapers say that the NDP is the only power and that it is corrupt. But they never give a solution or a substitute for the NDP. I think businessmen take a party membership for prestige, to complete their image in the community. The same is the case with women who take part in social work just to appear as a benevolent member of the charitable elite societyEman, physician

The views reported in Word on the Street do not necessarily reflect the views of The Daily Star Egypt.

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