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No electoral system can exclude Islamists: Wafd Party

Opposition mounts among party leaders regarding an individual candidacy system versus the mixed system of party lists and individual candidates for the coming parliamentary elections

Ahram Online, Tuesday 10 Sep 2013

No electoral system will be able to prevent Islamists from reaching parliament, said Wafd Party leader El-Sayed El-Badawi in an interview on Tuesday.

El-Badawi, one of the liberal representatives in the 50-strong constitution-amending committee, told Aswat Masriya on Tuesday that "some want the constitution to approve the individual candidacy system in the next parliamentary elections under the pretext that it would cut off the road to the Muslim Brotherhood, and the other Islamist political parties, from reaching parliament."

El-Badawi stressed that the adoption of the individual candidacy system can and will "destroy political parties' life and eliminate the chances of the representation of women, youth and Copts in the next parliamentary elections."

The constitution-amending committee is witnessing considerable debate among its members over the 10-member technical committee's suggestion to return to the individual candidacy system instead of the mixed system of party lists and individual candidates.

Mohamed Abul-Ghar, Egyptian Social Democratic Party leader and member of the constitution-amending committee, said on 3 September in a press statement "We warned that the individual candidacy system would mean elections will become a war between the rich who can spend a lot of money on campaigns."

The 2011 parliamentary elections were conducted under a mixed voting system where two-thirds of the seats were elected by party-list representation and one-third was elected under individual candidacy in two-seat constituency representation.

Islamist political parties dominated the now-defunct 2012 parliament with 368 seats out of a total of 508 seats.

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