Military's Chief of Staff discusses contentious elections law with Egyptian parties

Ahram Online, Saturday 1 Oct 2011

Political party representatives are meeting with military council's number two, Sami Anan, to discuss the controversial elections law following threats of a poll boycott

Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sami Anan is meeting with party leaders and representatives Saturday at the Defence Ministry headquarters.

The meeting aims to discuss the new elections law following recent amendments.

Anan, who is also number two in the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), invited a range of parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the liberal Wafd Party, a day after protesters converged on Cairo's central Tahrir Square to demand reforms.

The recently issued parliamentary elections law was rejected by the two main party coalitions, the Democratic Alliance, which includes the Wafd Party and the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Egyptian Bloc, which includes the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Free Egyptians Party and the Socialist Alliance Party. Many parties threatened to boycott the forthcoming parliamentary elections.  

The new law continued to combine the party list and individual candidacy systems, but on two thirds/one third basis respectively. The new law stipulates that individuals cannot belong to any of the political parties.

There is consensus among the bulk of Egypt's political parties that all seats be elected in accordance with a proportional representation-based list system. They charge that the individual candidacy system favours the "remnants" of the former ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).

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