Egypt's liberal Wafd party conducted its first “shadow government” meeting yesterday, with various party members and legal experts present. Leading party figures, including party head El Sayed El-Badawy, secretary general Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, and Mahmoud Sherdi, were absent, although the party’s official newspaper had previously announced their attendance.
The “shadow government” is separate to the “shadow parliament” that was established by various opposition leaders who were trounced by the ruling party in the parliamentary elections earlier this month. Both parallel government entities were formed in reaction to the parliamentary elections earlier this month, which saw a sweeping win by the ruling National Democractic Party (NDP) and allegations of wide-spread vote-rigging and corruption.
“We are here to prove that 2010 Egyptian parliamentary elections were was rigged and to present the judiciary decision proving that,” said Fouad Badrawy, member of the Wafd party's high council.
The Wafd, which has said it will take legal measures to prove the invalidity of the current elected parliament, has said that it hopes to attract other opposition parties to the shadow government.
During the meeting, which lasted for five hours, the members of the party discussed how to prove that the current elected parliament is “void”.
“There are 92 judicial rules proving the rigged elections, the legitimacy of the parliament is questionable,” Ibrahim Darwish, professor of constitutional law and an attendee told Ahram Online.
Another judicial flaw, according to those who attended the meeting, is the women’s quota. “There is a difference between giving a certain quota to women, which is acceptable and assigning women to certain constituencies, which is illegal,” Darwish told Ahram Online. Assigning women to certain constituencies raises the issue of equal opportunities with other running candidates.
The third legal flaw, according to the meeting, is the deprivation of Egyptians living abroad of the right to vote in the elections.
Party members said the absence of leading party members was solely due to other obligations with scheduling conflicts.
The Wafd, which initially won seven seats in this year’s parliament, decided to withdraw its parliamentary representation in the 2010-2015 People's Assembly. It also froze the memberships of its winning MPs.