Democratic Front pulls out of Quartet Bloc over PA elections

Heba Fahmy
4 Min Read

CAIRO: The Democratic Front Party has withdrawn from the Quartet Bloc after other parties decided to participate in the parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in November.

The Quartet Bloc comprised of four opposition parties including Al-Wafd, Tagammu and Nasserist parties as well as the Democratic Front, which has now dropped out.

“We at Al-Wafd respect every party’s decision as along as it is taken by its members and abides by each party’s [internal regulations]. At the same time, we would have [preferred that] the Democratic Front Party continue with us — the coalition was not established to take unanimous decisions but to implement the decisions made by the majority of its members,” Mohamed Moustafa Shardy, Al-Wafd MP, told Daily News Egypt.

“How can we ask people to respect democracy and the decisions made based on the majority of votes when Osama Harb [head of the Democratic Front] refuses to do so,” Shardy added.

Head of the Democratic Front Party Osama Al-Ghazali Harb told Daily News Egypt, “Every party is free to make its own decisions. The party decided to withdraw from the [bloc] because we disagreed on entering the parliamentary elections. We did not attempt to impose our decision on them but it was natural to withdraw after we couldn’t agree on such a vital point.”

He added, “The coming parliamentary elections are the most important elections and have an essential role in choosing the next president — that’s why they should represent people’s will and choice.

“Unfortunately, the Egyptian government always manipulates the elections; and it presented no guarantees for transparent or fair elections to opposition groups. It will dominate the elections as always and leave the crumbs for the opposition parties who have decided to participate and they will be forced to accept it.”

Leaders from Al-Wafd and Tagammu agreed that the Democratic Front’s pulling out of the quartet would have no effect on the bloc’s decision.

“No single party can impose its decision or point of view on the rest of the parties in the bloc,” Rifaat Al-Saeid, head of Tagammu Party, told Daily News Egypt.

Tagammu has not yet decided whether it will join Al-Wafd and the Nasserist Party in the coming People’s Assembly elections.

“We [Al-Tagammu Party] will decide our position on boycotting or entering the parliamentary elections on Saturday,” he added.

Prominent member of Tagammu, Fathia El-Assal, told Daily News Egypt: “In my opinion, we are a democratic party, which means we have to enter any political elections, otherwise we would be merely a civil society group.”

However, she added, “that does not mean we approve of the current state of the country — corruption, bribes and the emergency law. But of course I will abide by the decision of the majority of the party tomorrow whether it is to enter the elections or boycott them,” she added.

Al-Saeid and El-Assal did not clarify whether they would be forced to withdraw from the Quartet Bloc as well if Tagammu’s General Assembly decides to boycott elections on Saturday, describing it as “a premature decision.”

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