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Egypt's oldest liberal party mulls elections boycott

Wafd Party threatens to pull out of parliamentary polls in protest against changes to electoral law by military rulers

Thursday 29 Sep 2011
El-wafd Party
El-wafd Party
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The Wafd Party, Egypt's oldest liberal party, will decide on Thursday afternoon whether it will boycott upcoming parliamentary elections slated for November.

Members of the party's secretariat are expected to discuss a proposal made by party head El-Sayed El-Badawy not to participate in the polls after the ruling military council announced amendments to Egypt's electoral law that most political forces view as unacceptable.

The Wafd Party is a member of Egypt's Democratic Alliance coalition, which declared yesterday that it would reconsider its participation in elections unless the interim government agreed to undo the recent amendments by Sunday.

In a joint statement, the alliance’s 60 different parties and movements - including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party - demanded that the article in the election law barring political parties from fielding candidates for seats allocated to individuals be changed. The alliance also demanded the activation of Egypt’s decades-old treason law in hopes of preventing figures associated with the former regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak from running in upcoming polls.

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