Nominations for the Freedom and Justice Party leadership elections started Monday with former party secretary general and speaker of the dissolved People’s Assembly, Saad El-Katatny, being the first to collect a nomination form, the party’s website said.
The FJP, political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, is holding leadership elections after Mohamed Morsy’s presidential victory left the position of party chairman vacant.
Nominations will be open until 10 October after which there will be a three-day window for appeals before elections are held on 19 October. Members of the party general conference, essentially all party members, are eligible to run for the position of chairman, provided they collect 100 endorsements from the general conference.
El-Katatny, who resigned as secretary general following his election as speaker of the People’s Assembly, parliament’s lower house, is still the acting secretary general as a new one has not yet been appointed.
The party’s media advisor, Ahmed Sebea, confirmed that El-Katatny would be running for the elections. He refused to name any other potential candidates.
He is likely to face strong opposition with Mohamed El-Beltagy, the secretary general of the party’s Cairo branch, and Amr Derag, head of the party’s foreign affairs committee, both being touted as possible names that would contest the election.
Derag did not officially announce he would run, but refused to rule it out when asked. He was recently appointed into the party’s executive committee to fill the seat vacated by Morsy.
The top contender for the position however is current acting chairman Essam El-Erian. El-Erian is the party’s deputy chairman and has been running the party since Morsy became president. He is yet to officially announce running but refuted reports that he would not run on Monday.
El-Erian’s office said that reports of him not running were untrue, but would not confirm if he will in fact run.