CAIRO: Al-Wafd Party approved the first list of candidates for the coming Parliamentary elections in November comprising 176 candidates to run in 27 governorates, according to the party’s official newspaper.
Seventeen candidates will be competing for the 64 seats allocated for women in the Peoples’ Assemble (lower house).
“The second list will be announced next week,” Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour, MP and secretary general of Al-Wafd party, told Daily News Egypt.
The candidates consist of prominent figures including former football player Taher Abou Zeid, according to news portal Masrawy.
“The chairman of Al-Wafd Party is a man that’s very interested in media and stardom. He tries to appeal to and attract famous figures in order to use their popularity in appealing to the people and winning more seats in the upcoming elections,” Nabil Abdel-Fattah, a researcher at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, told Daily News Egypt.
According to Al-Wafd newspaper, Al-Sayed Al-Badawy, chairman of Al-Wafd Party, stated that there was coordination and cooperation between Al-Wafd and Al-Nasserist and Al-Tagammu Parties in the PA elections. He added that there was no co-operation between Al-Wafd and the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Our hands are open to any true opposition power that cares about the people and wants to coordinate and cooperate with us in the coming PA elections,” brotherhood MP, Mohamed El-Beltagi told Daily News Egypt.
The Brotherhood won 88 seats representing around 20 percent of the People’s Assembly in the 2005 elections.
“We know the people will be supporting us,” El-Beltagi added.
The Brotherhood and Al-Wafd have ignored calls to boycott the elections, mainly by former International Atomic Energy Agency chief and reform advocate Mohamed ElBaradei.
Al-Badawy said that he trusted President Hosni Mobarak’s promise to hold free and fair elections.
Abdel-Fattah told Daily News Egypt that the upcoming elections have already been rigged and the National Democratic Party has made deals with several official opposition parties to prevent the Brotherhood from repeating their 2005 win.
“The issue of striking political deals in the elections in Egypt is nothing new; it has existed since 1984 and even includes the Brotherhood,” Abdel-Fattah said.
“But this year the Brotherhood will probably be given from 15 to 30 seats to avoid the repetition of their 2005 win,” he added.
The Brotherhood and Al-Wafd Party have repeatedly denied making deals with the government.