Tagammu's Rifaat El-Said under fire

Salma El-Wardani , Saturday 4 Dec 2010

Leading Tagammu Party members call for a vote of no confidence in the party's chairman, accusing him of betraying the party rank and file over Egypt's elections.

Diaa Rashwan

More than 50 members of the leftist Tagammu Party launched an assault on chairman Rifaat El-Said after they were refused entry to a meeting in the Socialist Renewal Movement headquarters in downtown Cairo.

Led by the party's Alexandria committee, members have called for a vote of no confidence against El-Said, accusing him of using security forces to prevent them gaining entry to the meeting where a decision was to be made on whether the party would run in the second round of Egypt's parliamentary elections.

The dissenters also criticised El-Said for announcing that the Tagammu Party would participate in the second round, despite mounting pressure within the party's committees to follow the Wafd Party and the Muslim Brotherhood in boycotting the second round.

"We want to withdraw because of the flagrant rigging by the government," said Hany Ammar, a member of Tagammu's Central Committee in Alexandria. "The decision to continue in the elections does not represent the party or the majority of the party," he added.

The 50 Tagammu members, including vice-chairman Anis Al-Bayaa’a, were denied entry to the party’s headquarters yesterday.Security forces cordoned off the headquarters in Talaat Harb Street in downtown Cairo, eyewitnesses said.

Ammar added that party leaders were planning a sit-in in front of the Tagammu headquarters today to protest the party's head's decision to enter the second round of elections.

According to another source inside the party that chose to remain anonymous, Tagammu's entire Qalyubia branch has shut down in protest to the elections outcome and the party's decisions.

The source added that some of the most vocal opposition against the decision to participate in the re-run is from the party's Giza committee, which was for boycotting the elections from the start.

Only three Tagammu candidates will have the opportunity to participate in the second round runoff Sunday, with the party securing one seat by Abdel Rasheed Helal in the first round.

Short link: