CAIRO: Head of the Arab Socialist Party Wahid Al-Aqsari told Daily News Egypt Sunday that his party had no connection with what is known as the ‘Opposition Parties Bloc’ opposed to potential presidential hopeful Mohamed ElBaradei.
A report in the state-run Al-Ahram daily said that a number of opposition parties had announced a formation of this bloc to oppose the presidential ambitions of ElBaradei, claiming he had a foreign agenda.
The bloc was announced at a press conference by Hossam Abdelrahman, head of the little known Free Republican Party, and reports had claimed that other parties involved in this bloc were the Democratic People’s Party, the Democratic Union Party as well as the Arab Socialist Party.
However, the Arab Socialist Party released a statement Sunday saying that it was not in any way involved in this bloc, and cast doubt over the authenticity of the Free Republican Party, calling on the Political Parties Committee to investigate the matter.
The statement also said that the established parties involved such as the Democratic People’s Party, should not have joined such a bloc, and urged them to withdraw from it.
“These people are thieves and I am already taking legal action against them, Al-Aqsari said, “this bloc is a delusion and our party is not involved with it in any way.
In the press conference Abdelrahman said that the bloc was opposed to the possible candidacy of ElBaradei in the 2011 presidential elections, claiming he was not fit to become president. This is the latest in what seems to be a concerted campaign against ElBaradei and his allies.
Last week, four higher profile political parties announced they would hold a conference this month to discuss Egypt’s political future and call for constitutional reform but did not include ElBaradei in their invitation of 100 public personalities to speak at the conference.
Three of the four parties had declined to attend a meeting ElBaradei organized with opposition movements at his home, during which the founding of the National Coalition for Change was announced.
The new group headed by ElBaradei will agitate for amendments to articles 76, 77 and 88 of the constitution, which govern the eligibility of presidential candidates and canceled judicial oversight of elections, which the opposition wants restored.
ElBaradei has said he might consider running for president if free and fair elections were guaranteed, but in any case wanted to push for change in Egypt’s political landscape, whether or not he becomes a presidential candidate.