Preliminary list of 7,416 candidates aim to stand in ‎Egypt's parliamentary elections

Gamal Essam El-Din , Sunday 22 Feb 2015

An initial number of 7,416 candidates had successfully ‎registered to contest Egypt's upcoming parliamentary ‎polls

An Egyptian soldier cleans the gate of the Egyptian parliament in Cairo January 22, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

The Higher Election Committee announced on Sunday that as many as 7,416 candidates had successfully ‎registered to contest Egypt's upcoming parliamentary ‎elections.

"Of these, 4,836 were hoping to stand as ‎independents and 2,580 on party lists," Omar Marawan, the ‎spokesman of the Election Committee, said in a statement. He ‎also indicated that "949 had registered as ‎female candidates."‎

The 2011-2012 election, which allowed a mix of ‎independent and party list candidates, hit a record ‎number of candidates. A total of 10,251 parliamentary ‎hopefuls stood in the elections at the time; 4,200 of them on ‎party tickets.‎

Marawan said at least nine electoral coalitions had ‎registered to compete for 120 seats in four party-based ‎constituencies.

These, said Marawan, include the "For the ‎Love of Egypt", Al-Nour, the Egyptian Front, "the Call ‎of Egypt", "the Independence Current, "the Social ‎Justice", "the Knights of Egypt", "the Reawakening ‎of Egypt, and "Long Live Egypt."‎

The so-called Egyptian Wafd coalition - which includes seven ‎political parties - collapsed after Al-Wafd had opted ‎to merge with the "For the Love of Egypt" electoral coalition.‎

Bahaa Abu Shoka, secretary-general of Al-Wafd, said ‎‎"as many as 20 Wafdists will run on the "For the Love of ‎Egypt" lists, while hundreds of other Wafdists will run ‎as independents.‎

Al-Wafd's decision to join the "For the Love of Egypt" ‎coalition came under scrutiny. The Egyptian Social ‎Democratic Party lashed out at Al-Wafd, accusing its ‎members of seeking their party's own interests only.

"Al-‎Wafd chose to join a government-backed list at the ‎expense of its liberal principles," said chairman of the ‎Egyptian Social Democratic Party Mohamed Abul-Ghar.‎

Abul-Ghar said his party decided to join an electoral ‎coalition formed by political activist Abdel-Gelil ‎Mostafa. He also said several members of the party will ‎run as independents.‎

The final two days of registration in Egypt's ‎parliamentary elections brought several surprises.

A ‎preliminary list shows that candidates from diverse social and economic backgrounds decided to run. Prominent of these are Hafez Abu ‎Siida, chairman of the Egyptian Organisation for Human ‎Rights; Sama Al-Masry, an actress; Mostafa Kamel, a ‎singer; Fatimah Naout, a literary writer; and Khaled ‎Youssef, a film director.‎

Meanwhile, the minister of state for parliamentary affairs ‎Ibrahim Al-Heneidy said that "if any articles from the elections ‎laws were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme ‎Constitutional Court (SCC) next Wednesday, the ‎government would move to amend them to go in line ‎with the new constitution."

"The committee which took ‎charge of drafting the texts of election laws will meet to ‎study SCC's ruling and see whether any articles have to ‎be amended or not," said Heneidy.‎

Mohamed Al-Shennawy, deputy chairman of SCC, also ‎said that "SCC began hearings on five lawsuits filed against ‎the constitutionality of some articles of three election ‎laws."

Al-Shennawi added that a report by SCC's panel of ‎commissioners on Saturday that recommended some ‎articles be ruled unconstitutional is just advisory. ‎‎"SCC's board could differ with this recommendation or ‎approve it," he said.‎


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