By Heba Fahmy
CAIRO: Eighteen members from the Democratic Front Party (DFP) resigned on Tuesday due to differences with its leadership, which they described as undemocratic, according to former secretary general of the party, Margaret Azer.
She said 28 more members had sent their resignation by fax and 85 more were expected to announce their resignation at a press conference in Ismailia late on Wednesday.
Azer resigned on Monday citing differences with the party’s leadership over several issues, including her pronounced intention to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections, due Nov. 28, despite the party’s decision to boycott.
The Democratic Front Party was among the first opposition forces to announce boycotting the elections. The National Association for Change (NAC) had called for a boycott citing the government’s failure to guarantee free and fair elections.
Al-Wafd Party and other opposition groups including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Nasserist and Al-Tagammu parties decided to contest the upcoming elections.
Azer was officially interrogated by the Democratic Front Party for publicly expressing her intention to contest the elections despite the party’s refusal.
“I’m with boycotting the elections if the decision is unanimous among all opposition groups,” Azer said. “But since the decision is not unanimous, then I believe it’s better to contest [the elections],” she told Daily News Egypt.
“There’s no [teamwork] in the Democratic Front Party. The leaders work individually,” she added.
“There are around seven leaders in the party; they are all friends working individually and the rest of us are just [props],” she said.
Azer said that she couldn’t perform her duties according to the party’s executive statute.
“The party hasn’t had any effect on or even existence in the Egyptian streets for three years,” she explained.
President of the Democratic Front Party Osama El-Ghazali Harb couldn’t be reached for comment by press time.
In a telephone interview to Mehwar TV’s daily talk show “90 Minutes” on Tuesday evening, Ahmed Hassan, former member of the party’s executive bureau, said that the resignations weren’t in support of Azer but because of the members’ disappointment in the deteriorating state of the party.
Hassan said that Harb made several decisions that violate the practice of democracy within the party including restricting elections to choosing the president of the party, who would then handpick the members for the top posts.
On Tuesday, Azer joined Al-Wafd Party which she described as “the nation’s home.”
“I feel like I was born again and that I’m starting a new political life from inside the liberal, historic Al-Wafd Party,” Azer said, according to Egynews.net.
“Our door is always open to everyone,” Al-Wafd Secretary General Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour told Daily News Egypt following the news.
Azer was assigned as the head of the elections committee at Al-Wafd Party. Her responsibilities include supporting the party’s parliamentary candidates and coordinating and managing their campaigns.