Political parties mass people for 2018 election amid boycott calls

Source : ET


The chairmen of number of political parties held an emergency meeting on Sunday in the headquarter of Wafd Party to discuss plans to mass people to participate in the upcoming presidential election amid calls for boycott.

The meeting was attended by chairman of the liberal Wafd Party, El-Sayed el-Badawi; chairman of the Nation’s Future Party, Ashraf Rashad; head of the Conservative Party, Akmal Kortam; head of Al-Nour Party’s parliamentary bloc, Ahmed Khalil Khairallah; and other representatives of Egyptian political parties.

Badawi stated that the political parties who attended the meeting represent more than 45 percent of the parliament deputies; they developed a plan to support the citizens in all governorates to participate in the upcoming presidential election.

“There is a plot set by foreign parties to affect the independency of the country through pushing people not to participate in the upcoming presidential election, impacting Egypt’s national independence. However, the Egyptian citizen is fully aware of the current challenges and will confront them strongly,” Badawi added.

He said that the Egyptian parties are currently working on a plan to mobilize citizens to participate in the presidential election.

Rashad, chairman of the Nation’s Future Party, said to Egypt Today that all parties agreed to establish a forum including all Egyptian political parties in the upcoming period.

Yasser Koura, leading member of the National Egyptian Front Party, stated that the meeting came up with a plan to mass more than 30 million Egyptian citizens to participate in the upcoming presidential elections.

The heads of political parties set a plan to mass the citizens through holding a series of conferences in the governorates, calling people to participate and vote in the election.
The parties will also issue a statement supporting the Egyptian Army in their fight against terrorism in the “Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018”.

Incumbent President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and President of Al-Ghad political party Moussa Moustafa are the only two candidates who were found eligible by the authority to contest in the election.

Al-Wafd announced its support to President Sisi, following a long debate between the members of its supreme committee, rejecting the candidacy of its chairman, El Sayyid el-Badawi.

“Following prolonged discussions, the supreme committee renewed its previous decision to support President Sisi for a second term, considering the current circumstances and challenges that Egypt faces,” Al Wafd announced in a statement released on January 27.

Also, On July 26, 2017, Al-Masryeen Al-Ahrar party held an event at the Pyramids area to announce their support to Sisi, explaining that he is the man that can lead the nation in such a critical period.

“In the memory of mandating President Sisi to counter the terrorism practiced by the most dangerous group in history, the Muslim Brotherhood, back in 2013, we declare that the president is our party’s choice in the upcoming presidential election, since we believe that Egyptians deserve the best future,” chairman of the party, Essam Khalil said during the event.

Likewise, Al-Mo’tamar political party was one of the first parties to back Sisi’s candidacy on August 22, 2017, encouraging him to carry on the developmental projects he began in his first term.

Since establishing Mostakbal Watan party in November 2014, it has been a supporter of President Sisi and all his decisions. Moreover, its 57 MPs joined the “To Build It” campaign inside the Parliament which aimed at collecting signatures to urge Sisi to run for a second term.

Last September, the young leader of the party, Ashraf Rashad announced the party’s complete support to Sisi to run for a second term.

The Salafit Al-Nour party has announced its support to President Sisi to run for a second term in the presidential election due in March, according to statements of the party’s chairperson, Younes Makhioun, in a press conference on January 28.

On the other hand, former MP Ragab Hilal Hamida, the current secretary of the Egyptian Council of Arab Tribes, said that the council, including all the tribal leaders, has declared its support for Al-Ghad’s Moussa Mostafa.

The Farmers’ Union previously announced its support for President Sisi; however, Moussa said in statements that the union would support him and that they would open their headquarters for his hustings.

In the same context, Wagih Abu Hagar, member of the secretary general of Ghad Party and the follow-up secretary of the Egyptian Council of the Arab and Egyptian Tribes, said that all the tribes included in the council announced their support for Moussa Mostafa, head of the Ghad party.

Abu Hagar added that the tribal council includes about 86 tribes. He added that the council’s members are approximately 2,650,000.

Voting in the 2018 presidential election in Egypt will commence on March 26, as announced by the National Electoral Authority (NEA) on January 8. Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election between March 26 and 28 in Egypt, while expatriates will vote between March 16 and 18.

Sisi officially announced on January 19 his candidacy in the 2018 presidential election.

Sisi took office in 2014 after protesters toppled the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated ex-president Mohamed Morsy.

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