Amr Moussa, former foreign minister and chairman of the 50-member committee which drafted Egypt's new constitution, says he won't let members of Hosni Mubarak's defunct ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) join a political alliance he formed with hopes of winning a majority in the coming parliament.
Informed sources told Al-Ahram Online that Moussa decided that his alliance – called the Alliance of the Egyptian Nation – would rather join forces with all other political groups, as long as they believe in a civil state that does not mix religion with politics.
On 14 July, Cairo's Appeal Court for Urgent Matters ruled that leading officials of Mubarak's NDP could stand in parliamentary elections, overturning an earlier ban. The court argued that the new constitution only strips individuals of their political rights if a final judgment of criminal wrongdoing has been found against them.
Moussa's alliance, which he is trying to form ahead of upcoming parliamentary polls, includes the liberal Wafd Party, the leftist Al-Tagammu Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Reform and Development Party, the Geel (Generation) Party and Conservative Party. The General Egyptian Federation of Trade Unions (GEFTU), the Farmers Syndicate and the Tamarod movement have also joined Moussa's alliance.
Moussa's move came upon the request of political forces that approved joining his alliance. Leading officials of the Wafd Party said that joining the alliance was dependent on the exclusion of NDP remnants.
Also, the alliance's manifesto, drafted by two Al-Ahram political analysts Emad Gad and Amr El-Shobaki, rules out any coordination with any figures of the two regimes of Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi.
El-Shobaki told Al-Ahram Online that "in order for Moussa's political alliance to be a success, it is a major stipulation that the diehards of Mubarak and Morsi's regime do not join it."
He referred to two major political forces widely believed to be rife with NDP remnants and diehards: the National Movement Party, led by Mubarak's last prime minister and 2012's presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq, and Misr Baladi Party (Egypt My Homeland), led by former interior minister Ahmed Gamal-Eddin.
El-Shobaki also indicated that the alliance's manifesto states that it is mainly aimed at winning a majority in the coming parliament to form a majority government capable of implementing the new constitution's articles on human rights, democratisation, civil rule and social justice.
El-Shobaki said there are greater calls among the alliance's members for Moussa to contest the coming parliamentary elections so that he can win a seat and be entitled to be selected as the speaker of parliament.
"Several members of the alliance asked Moussai to stand in elections, but still he has not given a final answer," said El-Shobaki, adding that "Moussa believes that the coming parliament is important to the success of Egypt's new constitution in terms of translating its articles on human rights and freedoms into laws to be implemented on the ground and creating a democratic partnership with the president of the republic."
"As you know, the new constitution divides power among the president, the government and parliament," said El-Shobaki, and "in order for this division of power to be a success, the three authorities should work in harmony rather than fall into disagreements and political feuds that might harm the country's fragile economic and political situation."
El-Shobaki said "the manifesto is being discussed by all members of the alliance and they have to give a final answer on it this week or after the holy month of Ramadan so that it can begin taking real moves on coordinating election matters before the door for registration in parliamentary polls opens."
Yasser Hassan, chairman of the Wafd Party's media committee, announced this week that the party had rejected an invitation to join a bloc that includes NDP diehards. "The Wafd Party is clear that it wants to join an alliance for civil forces which believe in liberal democracy and separating religion from politics," said Hassan, adding that "at the same time, the Wafd Party cannot join hands with any NDP figure that the people associate with an age of political and financial corruption."
Ahmed Fawzi, a leading official of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, also insisted that "the party decided to join Moussa's alliance, with the stipulation that there will be no place for those who consider the 25 January revolution as a conspiracy or for those who describe the 30 June revolution as a military coup."
Amin Radi, secretary-general of the Conference Party and a former NDP leading official, criticised Moussa's decision to leave out NDP figures, arguing that before Mubarak decided to leave office in February 2011, NDP members reached 3 million.
"It is a big mistake for Moussa's alliance to ignore coordination with such a big force and it is a big mistake to brand its members as symbols of a corrupt age," said Radi.
Moussa, also a founding member of the Conference Party, resigned as the party head in July 2013 before he became chairman of the committee that drafted the post-30 June constitution.
Another group including leftist and liberal revolutionary forces has decided to launch an alliance – the Democratic Civilian Alliance, mostly comprised of political parties which came into being after Mubarak was ousted from office, notably the leftist Karama Party and the Egyptian Popular Current, two forces founded by former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, and the liberal Constitution Party and the Justice Party.
Leaders of the Democratic Civilian Alliance said they stand firmly against both Muslim Brotherhood and NDP remnants. They say they want to be a major force in the new parliament and will try their best to implement the ideals of the 25 January and 30 June uprisings.