By Mahmoud El-Sayed
Major General Sameh Seif El-Yazal, leader of the ‘For the Love of Egypt’ electoral list, denied any agreements with the Al-Nour Party to leave the West Delta constituency open for the latter. In an interview with Daily News Egypt, he said the complaints filed by the Al-Nour Party against ‘For the Love of Egypt’ list are pointless abuse.
El-Yazal said the list is working to form strong alliances in the parliament that combines a number of independent public and national figures to support the state. He explained ‘For the Love of Egypt’ list is not part of the regime but it will support the President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s path.
El-Yazal added that head of the Conservative Party Akmal Kortam withdrew then returned onto the list, both times upon his request. He said the electoral list welcomed him back since there are no conflicts within it.
El-Yazal added if the list gets the parliament seats, its members will work to change articles of the constitution, which they believe includes problems.
How do you feel about the complaints filed against you by Al-Nour Party?
Those complaints are obviously pointless abuse against our list. We do not comment on rumours, nor do we pay attention to them. Here, in this list, we do not repeat or encourage rumours. We always ask those who accuse us to make cases through legal entities. I am sure that Al-Nour’s complaints are nothing but rumours, so we disregard them and keep moving ahead.
How many seats do you think the list will win?
I believe the list will win in the four constituencies it is running in. This is our plan to work on for Cairo, Upper Egypt, and East and West Delta. Our hard work shows in the big rounds and huge tours we organise in the Egyptian streets, which support us and our candidates, who represent the national civil stream. We will be saddened if we lose in any of the constituencies, but we will accept it.
Have there been any kinds of agreements, as some have claimed, that you will leave the West Delta constituency for Al-Nour to win?
This is not true. There have not been any agreements of any kind with Al-Nour or otherwise. This is not how we work; we aim for transparency. And we do not do business under the table – as others would do. We are working to win in all four constituencies. Leaving one constituency for someone else to win is an act of betrayal.
How do you respond to the claims that the ‘For the Love of Egypt’ electoral list is part of the regime?
We are not and I dare anyone to prove it with evidence that the government supports us in anyway. I dare those accusing us to show that evidence to the public. We have not received any support from the state nor its officials. We are neither the regime’s nor the state’s list. We are tired of the rumours. However, we will support President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in his successful path leading the Egyptian state.
If the list wins, will you call for amendment of the constitution?
Before we start talking about amending the constitution, we need to work according to the one we have now in the parliament. If there are conflicts that prevent the parliament from carrying out its role, then we will consider amending it. It is too early to decide now.
If you represent the majority, will you aim to form the next government?
The majority forming the government will be from political parties. We are a list of parties and public figures. The list includes 40 names from different political trends and 80 independent icons. I believe the majority in the next parliament will be independent, representing some 60% of the total members. Based on the constitution, the majority that can form the government represents a party. After the parliament starts its sessions, we will consider who is best and the party with majority will name the next prime minister.
Are you concerned about the parliament dissolving?
The parliament will complete its five-year tenure. The state will not afford to dissolve it again. Hence, we are not concerned.
How many seats do you think Al-Nour will win?
Al-Nour Party will not represent a majority in the parliament. They will not even win many seats, as its leaders claim. The Egyptian people have learned their lesson from the Muslim Brotherhood. I believe Al-Nour will only win 30 seats in the next parliament. That is nothing compared to the total of 600 seats, and will not have any impact on the parliament itself.
What’s your comment on the return of Akram Kortam, head of the Conservative Party, once again to the list?
We accepted and welcomed him back. What happened does not indicate any internal conflicts. It was a misunderstanding between him and the list. We do not have any internal conflicts, as many claim. We will keep moving ahead to support the state.