In a press conference on Sunday evening, Egypt's Mostaqbal Watan (Future of the Homeland) Party announced that it has formed a coalition comprising 16 political parties, aiming to run for 284 seats allocated to party lists.
Mostaqbal Watan also announced that there will be coordination among the coalition parties regarding another 284 seats reserved for individual candidates.
Ashraf Rashad, first deputy head of Mostaqbal Watan Party, said the National Unified Coalition, raising the slogan "For the Sake of Egypt," will include political parties from different ideological platforms.
"It was originally planned that the coalition would include 11 political parties, but another five political parties showed interest in joining the coalition," said Rashad.
Mahmoud El-Kott, a member of the Political Parties' Young People's Coordination Committee, which is a member of the coalition, said in a TV interview that the names of the 16 political parties joining the coalition will be announced within a few hours.
The names of 12 political parties were announced on Sunday. These are Mostaqbal Watan, Al-Wafd, the Guardians of the Nation, Modern Egypt, the Egyptian Socialist Democratic Party, the People's Republican, the Reform and Development, Tagammu, the Generation's Will, the Egyptian Freedom, the Justice, and the Congress.
Hossam El-Khouli, second deputy head of Mostaqbal Watan, said the formation of the coalition represents a democratic step.
"The political parties joining the coalition are a mix of loyalist and opposition forces, but they are all united in their love of Egypt," said El-Khouli.
El-Khouli also revealed that there will be coordination among the coalition's political parties regarding competition for the 284 individual seats.
Anwar El-Sadat, head of the liberal Reform and Development Party, said that although his party raised reservations over political developments in Egypt in the last few years, it has no choice but to join the coalition for the sake of the country.
"All I hope now is that candidates on the coalition's Unified List will be good enough to win the confidence of voters," said El-Sadat.
Bahaaeddin Abu Shoqa, head of the Wafd Party, said that although his party is an opposition one, it decided to join the coalition because it puts national interests above all other considerations.
Gamal Zahran, a political science professor with Suez Canal University and a former independent MP, said in an article in Al-Ahram, "I hope that the Mostaqbal Watan-led National Unified coalition will not be the only one competing for the 284 party list seats."
Zahran said that if the scenario of last August’s Senate election repeats itself, with the Mostaqbal Watan coalition running uncontested, “it will mean that there will be no competition and the turnout will be very low.”
Egypt's parliamentary elections will kick off on 17 September by opening the door for candidate registration, and will wrap up on 14 December by announcing the final results. The election will be split into two stages.
The first stage will cover 14 governorates between 21 October and 30 November. These comprise Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut, New Valley, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, the Red Sea, Alexandria, Beheira, and Marsa Matruh.
The second stage will cover 13 governorates between 4 November and 14 December. These comprise Cairo, Qalioubiya, Daqahliyya, Menoufiya, Gharbiya, Kafr El-Sheikh, Sharqiya, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailiya, Suez, North Sinai, and South Sinai.
A total of 568 seats will be up for grabs in Egypt's upcoming parliamentary elections, while another 28 seats (5 percent) will be named by the president, bringing the House's seats to a total of 596.
The 568 seats are split equally between individual and party list deputies – meaning there will be 284 candidates from each category. The House election law stipulates that 25 percent of the total seats must be reserved for women.