Egypt’s opposition El-Wafd party elects new leader

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 12 Mar 2022

Abdel-Sanad Yamama was elected as the new leader of Egypt’s opposition El-Wafd party on Friday.


Yamama, a member of the party’s higher council and head of its political studies institute, will replace Bahaa El-Din Abu Shoqa — the Egyptian Senate’s deputy speaker and leader of El-Wafd since 2015.

Yamama, 72, will hold the post until 2026.

The election was held at the headquarters of El-Wafd party in Giza’s Dokki district.

The judicial committee that was in charge of supervising the vote said the ballot was held between 9am and 5pm in an environment marked with transparency and competitiveness, with Yamama and Abu Shoqa only competing against each other. The committee said that the final tally recorded 1,668 votes for Yamama and 1,548 for Abu Shoqa.

Yamama graduated from Cairo University’s Faculty of Law in 1947. He also got a PhD in law from the French University of Nancy in 1988. He then joined El-Wafd in 2004 and was elected three times as a member of the party’s higher council.

Following his election, Yamama said: “I intend to open a new page in El-Wafd’s long history.”

“The first line in this page is that El-Wafd should reassume its true role as an opposition party defending liberal democracy, active political participation, rights, freedoms, social justice, and Egypt’s pioneering role in its Arab and regional sphere.”

Yamama said in an interview with Al-Ahram newspaper on Friday that he was not satisfied at all with the performance of Abu Shoqa as the leader of El-Wafd party over the last seven years.

“He turned El-Wafd into a pro-government party, and most of the decisions he took as a party leader were undemocratic, and so I am politically different from Abu Shoqa,” said Yamama.

El-Wafd is Egypt’s longest-serving political party. The party was founded following the breakout of Egypt’s 1919 nationalist revolution against the British occupation at the time.

El-Wafd is a liberal-oriented party, advocating liberal democracy and free enterprise.

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