Wafd Party to revive political scene with new candidate

Source : ET


Another potential presidential candidate is expected to be announced soon by one of Egypt’s most historical political parties, Al Wafd, which may change the current political scene once again, sources told Egypt Today on Thursday.

The sources added that the party is about to choose one of three candidates considered to be among Al Wafd prominent leaders. The considered candidates are, Wafd leader El-Sayyid el-Badawi, Hani Sarie el-din and MP Mohamed Fouad.

One of those three political leaders will be Al Wafd’s potential candidate for presidency. Further details about the choosing process and the party’s final stance toward the election are expected to be revealed soon in an official statement.

Al Wafd Party used to be one of Egypt’s most influential political parties for a period of time, especially from the end of the First World War through the 1930s. Most of the party’s leaders used to be very effective members in the Egyptian society including former Prime Minister Saad Zaghloul who led the revolution of 1919 against the British colonization of Egypt.

Currently, there is only one official presidential candidate; President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
Law makers, experts, media figures and presidential campaigns members were debating during the past few days about the consequences of the presence of one candidate in the presidential election, especially after the withdrawal of three candidates from the political race for different reasons.

The first candidate was former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik who announced on November 29, 2017, his intentions to run for presidency.

However, on January 7, he published another statement on his Twitter account saying that he will not run for the upcoming elections as he thinks that “he is not the ideal candidate to lead the nation now.”

“By observing the reality, I have seen that I will not be the ideal person to lead the nation in the upcoming period; thus, I have decided not to run for president in the 2018 presidential elections,” Shafik announced.

The second candidate was veteran lawyer and human rights activist Khaled Ali, who has been considering retreating from the presidential elections for several days, and news about Ali’s withdrawal were published during the past few days on social media pages, but were later denied by Ali’s official campaign. Ali’s campaign eventually announced the news on January 24 in a press conference.

“We today announce our decision not to enter this race; we will not submit our candidacy papers,” Ali stated.

Ali’s presidential campaign director, Hala Fouda, said in statements to ON E channel on January 11 that they are witnessing excessive meetings to discuss the current political situation in order to reach a final evaluation and determine if Ali will be able to continue “under these stressful circumstances”.

Responding to host Amr Adeeb’s question as to if there is any possibility that they would withdraw from the race, Fouda said they do not intend to do so; however, if the government does not listen to their demands, and if they find the surrounding political environment does not give them an equal chance with their competitors, they will have to withdraw.

The final and third candidate who announced running for president on January 20, was former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sami Anan. “I made my decision to present my candidacy papers to the National Electoral Commission as a presidential candidate, in accordance with the announced rules and dates by the commission,” Anan said.

However, three days later, Egypt’s authorities arrested him over charges of “forgery” as he “illegally” announced his intention to run for the 2018 presidential elections.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued a statement explaining that Anan does not have military permission to terminate his service at the Armed Forces.

For its part, the National Election Authority has excluded Anan’s name from the presidential race, having run illegally for the position.

According to Article 36 of the Egyptian presidential election law, if there is only one candidate in the presidential election, he must receive three million votes to win the election, which represents about 5 percent of the eligible voters in Egypt.

“Voting for electing the president of the republic shall be realized even if one single candidate has applied or even if he was the only candidate remaining due to the renunciation of the remaining candidates. In this case, this candidate shall be announced winner if he obtains 5 percent (five percent) of the total number of voters registered in the voters’ database. Should the candidate fail to obtain such percent, PEC shall announce opening candidacy for another election, within no more than 15 days from the date of announcing results. In this case, elections shall be conducted according to the provisions of this law,” Article 36 states.

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