Revolution Continues Alliance stabilises, one day ahead of registration deadline

Sarah Raslan, Sunday 23 Oct 2011

Better late than never: The alliance that groups a large number of young revolutionaries settles its electoral lists one day ahead of the registration deadline

After much delay and confusion, the new "Revolution Continues Alliance" has announced their parliamentary elections platform, one day short of the extended candidacy registration deadline.

The newly formed alliance consists of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPA), the Egyptian Socialist Party, the Egyptian Current, whose members include ex-Muslim Brotherhood members, Amr Hamzawy's Freedom Egypt Party, Tayseer Fahmy's Equality and Development Party, the Revolution Youth Coalition and the Egyptian Alliance, and a new workers' party pending registration approval headed by Mohamed El-Jilany.

“The alliance has large numbers of women, Copts and youth,” said Abdelghaffar Shukr, SPA founder and one of the alliance’s founding members. “I don’t have an exact number, but I know it is more than any other alliance or coalition.”

Shukr told Ahram Online the alliance is nominating 300 candidates with 27 electoral lists, with three pending lists. In addition to the lists, three candidates are running independently under the alliance umbrella. The independents are Nagwa Abbas, who will be running in Cairo’s Nasr City district, Ahmed Suleiman who will be running in Port Said, and Anise El-Bayyaa running n Demiat.

Shukr denied allegations of confusion within the newly formed alliance but said there was a dispute to appoint the heads of lists. He added that the Egyptian Current and the Revolution Youth Coalition had threatened to leave the alliance, before a solution was reached.

Some members of the Youth Coalition will be running under the Revolution Continues Alliance while others are running under the alliances or coalitions of parties they belong to.

The alliance consists of two socialist parties, two liberal parties and an Islamic group. “The alliance basically combines all factions of Egyptian society,” said Wael Khalil, a leftist blogger and member of the SPA, “from Islamists to liberals and socialists.”

The Revolution Continues Alliance, headed by the leftist Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPA), was formed after the SPA broke away from the Egyptian Bloc, saying that the bloc contains remnants of the former regime. The SPA previously said they would join the Egyptian Bloc under certain conditions. Their demands were not met.

Ahmed Bahaa Shaaban, head of the Egyptian Socialist Party, said there were two main reasons the socialists withdrew from the Egyptian Bloc. “There were remnants of the old regime in some of the parties under the bloc,” he said. “The bloc also gave specific parties priority over others.”

Other parties who broke away from the Egyptian Bloc cited the same grievances. The Egyptian Bloc is the second largest electoral coalition, with the Democratic Alliance, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, taking the lead.

Shukr said the alliance’s goals are those of the January 25 Revolution. “Freedom, social equality and human rights,” he said. “We will also call for reforms to the Egyptian education and healthcare systems.”

He added that the alliance’s election programme will be announced within the next two weeks.

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