New head of Egypt's Constitution Party aims to end internal disputes

Marina Barsoum , Saturday 2 Feb 2019

Egypt's Constitution party (Logo)

Egypt’s Constitution Party announced on Saturday that Alaa El-Khayam had won the internal elections to lead the liberal grouping.

El-Khayam told Ahram Online that his main concern in the coming period is the unity of the party and moving on from internal conflicts. 

"All kinds of disputes that have erupted in the past will be behind us... they were mainly personal issues and we will open a new page and work as one entity," he said. 

The troubled party has been facing internal disputes since 2013, following the resignation of the party's founder Mohamed ElBaradei. Big issues like who to support in the 2014 presidential elections and whether to participate or boycott the 2015 parliamentary elections have left members divided since.

The party has faced many resignations, including that of co-founder and former party president Hala Shukrallah, who was the first Christian woman to head a political party in Egypt.

Shukrallah resigned in June 2015, and her predecessor, acting president Tamer Gomaa, resigned in July 2018, leaving the post vacant.

El-Khayam secured 275 votes against the 229 of his opponent Ahmed Bayoumi. 

He told Ahram Online that he does not belong to any faction inside the party and that he is just a member, which he believes will help him in working towards uniting the party. 

"The main duty that I will be focusing on the next phase is to close the doors a little while to organise the goals, tasks and duties of each and every member inside our party," said El-Khayam. 

The newly elected president also said that the party aims to work closely on the development plan of the country, including education and health. 

"In our party we have professionals in different fields and we are looking forward to working in an official way with the government, as well as practicing political work regarding different topics," he said.  

Who is El-Khayam?

El-Khayam was a founding member of Mubarak-era opposition movement Kefaya.

Founded in 2004 by a handful of prominent Egyptian ‎politicians and intellectuals, the movement brought together ‎political activists from liberal, Islamist and leftist backgrounds to oppose then-president Hosni Mubarak.‎

He joined the Constitution Party in 2015, and his slogan for the party leadership was "Tomorrow is for the constitution." 


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