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Social Democratic Party to exclude prominent members to join new electoral list

The Egyptian Social Democratic Party joins Abdel-Gelil Mostafa's Egypt's Awakening parliamentary elections list on condition it excludes several members, including its general secretary

Ahram Online , Thursday 12 Feb 2015
Ziad al-Elaimy
Ziad al-Elaimy (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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The Egyptian Social Democratic Party is currently negotiating a merger with a new electoral list formed by nationalist political figure Abdel-Gelil Mostafa, shifting away from initial negotiations to join the list led by the liberal Wafd Party.

The ESDP has reportedly agreed to a condition set by the Egypt’s Awakening leaders that it refrains from nominating certain members for a possible joint list.

Abdel-Galil Mostafa was the founder the Egyptian Association for Change which played a key role in mobilising opposition to former autocrat Mubarak in his last years in power.

Egypt's Awakening list (Sahwet Misr) also includes Nadia Zoulfqar, a member of the National Council for Human Rights, and Khaled Youssef, the prominent Egyptian film director.

The "unwelcomed" list include prominent party figures such as former MP Ziad El-Eleimy and the party’s current general secretary Ahmed Fawzy. The two have been vocal critics of El-Sisi government.

ESDP member Bassem Kamel told Al-Ahram Arabic website that the party would choose candidates to run on the joint electoral list according to a set of criteria, without giving further details.

Kamel, who said had decided not to run in any capacity in the elections, also suggested that the current political atmosphere does not allow for free and fair elections. He added that security forces have pressured political parties to join the “In Love of Egypt” (Fy Hob Misr) electoral list, led by former intelligence officer and security expert Sameh Seif El-Yazal, or otherwise risk missing out on seats in the next parliament.

Meanwhile, the Wafd Party is currently negotiating a merger with the "In Love of Egypt" list after scratching plans to lead its own Wafd Alliance.

Last week, the Wafd had threatened to boycott the elections accusing security forces of pressuring the party to join the "In Love of Egypt" list.

In a meeting with political parties last month, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called on attendees to join forces in order to create one unified list, instead of competing on different lists.

Parliamentary elections are planned to start 21 March. Party lists will compete on 120 seats while 480 seats will be allocated for independent candidates. 

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