Egyptian parliament's 25-30 opposition bloc did not endorse any candidate for upcoming presidential elections

Gamal Essam El-Din , Tuesday 30 Jan 2018

Egyptian parliament Haitham El-Hariri (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The Egyptian parliament's 25-30 bloc said in a statement on Tuesday that they did not give endorsements to any candidate in the country's upcoming presidential elections, which are scheduled for March.

The 14-member opposition bloc said in a press conference in parliament's Pharaonic hall that "we refused to give endorsements to any of the candidates in an election process that was manipulated in a way that forced the country's sons, who can bear its gross responsibilities, to refrain from exercising nomination rights."

"The result was that it made us a subject of mockery for all those who hate Egypt and its people," the statement said. 

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Ghad Party chairman Moussa Mostafa Moussa are the only hopeful candidates to submit all required papers and endorsements to the National Elections Authority (NEA).

In the past few weeks, several well-known public figures who had been mulling a run ended their bids for various reasons.

"We hope that one day all will learn lessons very well and will move to build a healthy political environment where all can participate in a real way to build a modern democratic and civilian state that can preserve the dust of the holy homeland, preserve its great Nile river, and maintain the rights of its citizens in an honourable life," the bloc's statement said. 

"We have a right as MPs to give our evaluation of the last four years in Egypt."

"The harvest of these four years as we see them is that economic conditions of the vast majority of citizens have deteriorated, the existing and future generations have become bogged down in debts, health and education services have collapsed, not to mention that all forms of freedoms were trampled, and the state of the rule of the law was crushed."

"In foreign terms," the statement said, "Egypt has lost its influence in regional and international circles in a way that made it more dependent on countries that clearly hate our nation."

The statement criticised what it called "the loss of the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir [to Saudi Arabia] and the recklessness in dealing with Egypt's rights to Nile water."

The statement said the bloc's MPs tried their best in parliament to change these policies so that the country's ship can reach safe shores.

"Unfortunately all of our attempts have been aborted because the regime insists on following the same old policies which kill any hope for a peaceful rotation of power, a fact which is very dangerous," the statement asserted.

It concluded by saying that "the Egyptian people who sacrificed a lot in its glorious 25 Revolution to have social justice, freedoms and national independence deserve to live an honourable life."

"We take the ruling regime to task for all the setbacks that hit this nation and warn that the consequences will be very grave," the statement concluded.

The 25-30 bloc is led by Alexandria's independent deputy Haitham El-Hariri and comprises 14 mostly leftist MPs.

Other leftist MPs affiliated with the Tagammu Party announced this week that they have decided to endorse President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi for a second term in office.

President El-Sisi has been endorsed by 549 MPs (out of a total 596 MPs).

A presidential candidate needs 25,000 endorsements from citizens in at least 15 governorates, or endorsements from 20 MPs to be eligible to run for president.

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