Egypt's Mostaqbal Watan (the Future of the Homeland) party announced that it will contest all seats up for grabs in the country's Senate elections, which are due to be held on 11 and 12 August.
A large number of members from the Mostaqbal Watan Party, which holds the majority in the House of Representatives, will run in the polls either independently or as part of a coalition of parties.
The list of Mostaqbal Watan's candidates who registered for the poll on Saturday includes the party's deputy chairman Adel Nasser, the party's assistant secretary-general Essam Hilal, and political analyst Amr Okasha.
Ashraf Rashad, the party's secretary-general, said the party decided to field candidates for the 100 seats reserved for independents.
Mostaqbal Watan, following two rounds of negotiations with 15 political parties, has also prepared "a national unified list" that will contest another 100 seats reserved for party lists.
The list will include the party's leader and former chairman of the Supreme Constitutional Court Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Razeq; the party's deputy chairman Hossam El-Khouli; Al-Wafd Party's deputy chairman Yasser El-Hodeibi; editor of the leftist Tagammu party's mouthpiece newspaper Al-Ahali Amina El-Naqash; deputy editor of the independent weekly Al-Osbou Mahmoud Bakri; and chairman of the Egyptian Socialist Democratic Party Farid Zahran.
Mostaqbal Watan’s secretary-general Rashad said the national unified list will include candidates from 15 political parties who agreed to join in contesting the 100 seats reserved for party-based lists.
"We are the only party capable of fielding individual and party list candidates in all of Egypt," said Rashad, adding that “we have offices in all of Egypt and we have the financial power to campaign in all districts.”
The Mostaqbal Watan Party is a staunch supporter of Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's policies regarding economic reform and fighting terrorist organisations.
The Senate election is Egypt's first for a second chamber since the Shura Council was dissolved in 2013. The 2014 constitution did not envisage a second house, though constitutional amendments passed in 2019 returned the council, this time by the name of the Senate.
A law governing the Senate's work and formation was passed by parliament on 17 June.
Head of the National Elections Authority (NEA) Lasheen Ibrahim said candidates can register between 11 and 18 July from 9am to 5 pm. Election committees are set up in first instance courts in Egypt's 27 governorates to receive registration papers.
Ibrahim said that as many as 254 candidates have registered for the Senate election on Saturday.
The Senate law states that it will include 300 seats, one-third of which will be elected via the individual candidacy system, a third by closed party lists, and a third to be named by the president. The law stipulates that 10 percent (30) of the Senate's seats are to be reserved for female candidates.
Under the law, 100 independents will be elected in 27 districts. There will be four party list districts, two of which will elect 15 representatives each, and two will elect 35 each.
Under the closed party list system, a single party or a coalition of parties that gains 51 percent of the votes in a certain district will take all the seats.