Free Egyptians apologises for NDP-linked parliamentary candidate

Sherif Tarek , Sunday 11 Dec 2011

Liberal Free Egyptians party parliamentary candidate in Menoufiya, Sami Fotouh, accused of involvement in February's 'Battle of the Camel' attack on anti-Mubarak regime protesters in Tahrir Square

Battle of the Camel in Tahrir (Photo: Reuters)

The Free Egyptians party, leader of the liberal Egyptian ‎Bloc electoral coalition, has announced its decision to ‎eliminate top candidate Sami Fotouh from the bloc’s ‎electoral list in the Menoufiya governorate’s Qesna ‎constituency due to his past association with the now-‎defunct National Democratic Party (NDP) of ousted ‎president Hosni Mubarak. ‎

According to a party statement issued on Sunday, ‎‎“compelling evidence” proves that the candidate had ‎been an NDP member who had actively worked to thwart ‎the progress of Egypt’s January revolution.‎

Fotouh reportedly stands accused of involvement in the ‎notorious “Battle of the Camel” that took place on 2 ‎February, in which hundreds of NDP-hired thugs attacked ‎protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square with swords and ‎bricks.‎

‎“The Free Egyptians apologises to all Egyptians, ‎especially those from Menoufiya, for not choosing the ‎right candidate to top the list in the Qesna constituency,” ‎the statement read.‎

‎“He [Fotouh] unequivocally turned out to be a staunch ‎loyalist of the dismantled NDP, although he had formally ‎resigned from the party. He has also worked against the ‎interests of the January 25 Revolution,” the statement ‎added.‎

‎“The [Free Egyptians] party stresses that it will not ‎replace him, as the rest of the electoral list remains ‎untouched. What’s more, the party coordinator ‎responsible for Menoufiya will be suspended and ‎investigated on charges of providing incomplete and false ‎information about the candidate,” the statement stressed.‎

‎“Based on the party’s promise to the people that it would ‎maintain transparency, we apologise for this inadvertent ‎mistake. We also vow to take all necessary steps to ‎prevent similar mistakes from happening again,” the ‎statement went on.‎

It concluded: “We refuse to include such individuals within ‎the ranks of our party, as we are working to fulfil the goals ‎of our revolution."‎

The formerly ruling NDP, which monopolised Egyptian ‎political life for three decades under Mubarak, was ‎dissolved by court order in the wake of the popular ‎uprising in January that culminated in Mubarak’s ouster.‎

Some former NDP figures have attempted to establish a ‎foothold in Egypt’s post-revolution political arena by ‎joining newly-established political parties and taking part ‎in parliamentary polls on those party’s electoral lists. ‎Others, meanwhile, are contesting elections as ‎independent candidates.‎

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