Wasat Party says will work with revolutionaries against ex-regime

Ahram Online, Saturday 26 May 2012

Liberal Islamists announce they will unite with revolutionary forces to thwart 'remnants', including Shafiq in the presidential runoffs

Abu-Ela Madi, head of the moderate Muslim Al-Wasat Party, announced that they will cooperate with revolutionary forces against members of the ousted regime.

This comes after a party meeting Friday evening to set a plan of attack after Egypt's presidential elections have left revolutionary political forces shocked and scrambling.

The elections, held 23 and 24 May, clearly point to two candidates that will contend in run-off elections, which revolutionary forces see as unsavoury choices between either: an ex-regime member, Ahmed Shafiq, or Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohamed Morsi.

Among Al-Wasat's founding members are several Muslim Brotherhood defectors.

The results of Egypt's first presidential elections out from under Mubarak's thumb are expected to be made official on Tuesday, with three more non-significant governorates still to release their final elections numbers.

Where Al-Wasat stands

Al-Wasat party added to their statement of support to the revolutionary forces that they will stand against figures associated with ousted president Mubarak, whose regime they called "corrupt and tyrannical."

A prominent member of Al-Wasat, MP Essam Sultan, spearheaded relentless efforts to keep Ahmed Shafiq from running in the presidential race.

Sultan lodged graft charges against Shafiq and also championed the Disenfranchisement Law through parliament to ban figures associated with the Mubarak regime (like Shafiq), from holding high state positions during the next five years.

Although the Disenfranchisement Law was passed the military-appointed Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) is challenging the law in Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court and permitted Shafiq to run.

The court is expected to deliver a verdict on the law's constitutionality on 28 May. 

How much influence can the revolutionary forces' numbers apply?

Al-Wasat's statement reads that they estimate that there were 10 million pro-revolution voters in the presidential elections.

Revolutionary forces' favoured contender, Hamdeen Sabbahi, fought an impressive electoral rearguard action, finishing a not-so-distant third with 4,739,983 votes. Another moderate choice for revolutionaries is liberal Islamist candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, who trailed behind at fourth with 3,936,264 votes.

The two finalists, Mohamed Morsi and last Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Shafiq earned 5,553,097 and 5,210,978 votes, respectively;

The party stated its commitment to search for the best way to achieve the revolution's objectives to usher in the coming phase.

The statement celebrated the martyrs and victims of the January 25 Revolution "who wrote with their blood a new history for Egypt. Because of their precious sacrifices, Egypt wouldn’t have witnessed that great day of Egyptians going out to choose their coming president."

Egyptians will choose between the two candidates in a runoff vote slated for 16 and 17 June.

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