Sawiris: Free Egyptians party not looking for majority in parliament

Ahram Online , Sunday 11 Oct 2015

Naguib Sawiris says that his party was committed to the campaign spending limits determined by the high elections committee

Sawiris: Free Egyptians Party does not look for majority in House of Representatives

Liberal Free Egyptians party (FEP) founder Naguib Sawiris said in a TV interview on Saturday that his party was not looking for a majority in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

He also added in his interview on CBC TV that his party was seeking to "defeat" poverty in Egypt using experiences and programs based on the German model in its economic program.

Sawiris also announced that the party pushed 12% of its youth members to participate in the parliamentary elections.

"The party has already succeeded in training youth cadres capable of contributing positively to the state, regardless of the elections' results," he said.

The party is running with 227 candidates for the individual candidacy system, which allocates 448 (75 percent) parliamentary seats, and is running with nine candidates for the party-based list, which allocates 120 (20 percent) seats.

The first stage of Egypt's parliamentary elections will kick off in the country on 18 October. 

According to Sawiris, the party followed a "scientific" method to choose its candidates by going in to constituencies and asking the people on the most influential figures in their areas. The party would approach those figures, sharing with them the ideas and principles of the party in order to attract them to join the FEP.

Addressing the fact that some members from Hosni Mubarak's defunct National Democratic Party (NDP) joined the FEP, Sawiris said that those members only joined after agreeing on its principles. 

"This party is founded on principles and ideas, not people. Its name is Free Egyptians party, not Naguib Sawiris party," he added. 

Sawiris asserted that his party is committed to the campaign spending limits determined by the High Elections Committee (HEC) for its members.

There have been recent accusations to FEP that some individual seat members were spending millions on their campaigns. 

According to the HEC, the individual seats’ candidates cannot spend more than LE500,000 in the first round and LE200,000 should a run-off take place.

The famous businessman also revealed that the representation of youth in "For the love of Egypt" electoral list was among the points of differences between the party and the list.

Nevertheless, the FEP is still part of the electoral coalition for the list seats, in order to not create a split inside the list, which is believed to be a winning horse in the parliament. 

Regarding his expectations about how many seats the Salafist Nour party will score in the upcoming parliament, the liberal businessman said that the Egyptian people "learned their lesson and would not elect the Nour party again." 

The Salafist Nour party had already scored nearly 24% of the seats in the people's assembly elections in 2011, whereas the Free Egyptians party scored only 15 seats as part of "The Egyptian Bloc" electoral coalition. 

Sawiris also accused the Nour party of using "sectarian tensions" in its attack against the Free Egyptians party.

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