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Liberal Free Egyptians Party warns of pro-Sisi parliamentary bloc practices

Ahram Online , Sunday 20 Dec 2015
Sawiris
Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, head of the Free Egyptians party, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Sharm El-Sheikh, in the South Sinai governorate, south of Cairo, March 15, 2015 (Reuters)
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The liberal Free Egyptians Party warned on Saturday of recent actions by a parliamentary bloc aimed at defending the policies of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in Egypt's newly-elected parliament.

“The regulations made by the bloc named For Supporting Egypt follow a political party description in its formation and definition. This bloc first started as an electoral list, then turned into a political party without getting a permit from the parties’ committee. For that, we call on all those invested in the future of the political experience and our parliamentary life to be alert to the danger of such practices,” a statement by the party said.

On Friday, Sameh Saif El-Yazel, a former intelligence officer and the coordinator of the For the Love of Egypt electoral coalition, won the presidency of the bloc.

El-Yazel said in a press conference last month that, "the intended bloc will act as a back-up force for President El-Sisi and for reinforcing Egypt's political stability in a region plagued with civil wars and sectarian strife."

In an interview with private newspaper Youm 7, the founder of the Free Egyptians Party and business tycoon Naguib Sawiris said that the pro-Sisi parliamentary bloc would “kill the democratic process in Egypt,” describing the bloc as “sheep being lead by a Supreme Guide just like the Muslim Brotherhood.”

A meeting was held on Saturday by the political bureau of the Free Egyptians Party, where they also voted to expel one of their members after she signed on to the pro-Sisi bloc.

The party saw that such action by their member aimed to “divide the party” after an earlier announcement was made on Friday that they will not join the parliamentary bloc due to its "unclear aims". 

The bloc, named For Supporting Egypt, is expected to be composed of hundreds of MPs, most notably independents and members of the For the Love of Egypt collation, which won 120 party list seats in the parliamentary race that took place in October, November, and ended in December.

Egypt's parliament is expected to be sworn in by the end of December, and will be composed of the highest number of MPs in the country’s 150-year parliamentary history. The MPS are divided into 448 independents, 120 party-based deputies, and 28 presidential appointees.  

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