CAIRO: Political parties belonging to the Democratic Alliance coalition will contest all seats in the People’s Assembly and Shoura Council (Upper House of Parliament) in the upcoming legislative elections as they aim to form a "national salvation government."
The alliance parties, spearheaded by the Islamist Freedom and Justice Party and the liberal Al-Wafd, said after the first meeting of the electoral coordination committee that they agreed on the basic mechanisms of contesting the elections within a unified list and the criteria for fielding individual candidates.
"The committee agreed that all candidates should have a good reputation and qualifications, not to have been members of the disbanded National Democratic Party or cooperated with it or with the disbanded state security apparatus, and to enjoy a level of popularity," said Waheed Abdel Meguid, head of the electoral coordination committee.
Each party will submit a list and profiles of its candidates.
Candidates will be divided into three categories: former MPs; those who contested elections but did not succeed and those who will be running in the elections for the first time.
A list of final candidates will then be chosen from among those who fulfill the criteria set by the committee.
However, Abdel Meguid did not specify the percentage of party representation in each unified list.
"We want candidates in various specializations to form the 19 specialized committees of the People’s Assembly required to rebuild Egypt," Abdel Meguid said.
The Democratic Alliance previously rejected the elections law issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) last month and said that it will consider all options of escalation including boycott to pressure the SCAF to change it.
The SCAF law states that 50 percent of the seats will be elected through the individual candidates system and 50 percent through closed party lists, while the draft law proposed by the Democratic Alliance was in favor of the party lists exclusively.
Chairman of Al-Wafd Party Al-Sayed Al-Badawy, however, previously told Daily News Egypt that they would never boycott the elections.
The Democratic Alliance, called for by Al-Wafd and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), comprises 34 parties from the left and far right, bringing together proclaimed liberals and Islamists.
It includes Al-Wafd, Nasserist, Al-Ghad, Al-Karama, Labor, FJP, Al-Geel, Al-Ahrar and the Egyptian Arab Socialist parties, as well as the Salafi Al-Nour, Al-Fadila and Al-Tawheed Al-Araby parties.
The leftist Al-Tagammu quit the alliance after demanding an apology from the FJP and Salafi parties over "violations" during the July 29 protest in Tahrir Square organized by Islamists.
A number of liberal and leftist powers including Al-Tagammu established the "Egyptian Bloc" to unite those who are calling for a civil state that respects citizenship rights.
Member parties said that they will also form an electoral coalition.
A number of members of Al-Wafd’s Higher Committee expressed their disapproval of the coalition between their party and Islamic powers in the Democratic Alliance and criticized the "domination" of the FJP over the coalition.