Liberal Wafd Party leader Yamama first to announce candidacy for Egyptian presidency

Zeinab El-Gundy , Sunday 18 Jun 2023

The leader of the liberal Wafd Party, Abdel-Sanad Yamama, has become the first candidate to officially declare his candidacy for the upcoming Egyptian presidential elections scheduled for next year.

Abdel-Sanad Yamama
A file photo of Wafd Party leader Abdel-Sanad Yamama. Photo: El-Wafd Party


With the backing of 90 percent of the party's high committee, Yamama has secured the first stage for his nomination for the presidential office.

In addition, according to Article 142 of the Egyptian Constitution, "candidates must receive the recommendation of at least 20 elected members of the House of Representatives, or endorsements from at least 25,000 citizens who have the right to vote, in at least 15 governorates, with a minimum of 1,000 endorsements from each governorate."

With the support of 26 MPs and 10 senators, El-Wafd can push forward his candidacy.

Yasser El-Hodaiby, a senator and the party's secretary-general, has been appointed as Yamama's official media spokesperson.

The upcoming presidential elections are expected to be held at the end of 2023. According to the Egyptian Constitution, 3 December 2023 is the deadline for opening Egypt’s presidential elections candidacy, General Coordinator of the National Dialogue Diaa Rashwan said last week.

During an interview with journalist Mostafa Bakry on his TV show Truth and Secrets on Friday, Yamama stated that his platform will be announced once the party has finished preparing it.

Who is Yamama?

Yamama graduated from Cairo University's Faculty of Law in 1947 and obtained a PhD in law from the University of Nancy in France in 1988.

He joined Wafd in 2004 and has been elected as a member of the party's higher council on three occasions.

The lawyer and international law professor was elected as the party's leader in March 2022, succeeding to Bahaa El-Din Abu Shoqa, who had held the position since 2015 and served as the Senate's deputy speaker.

His tenure as leader is set to continue until 2026. 

This is not the first time that the Wafd Party has put forward a candidate for the presidential elections. In 2005, their late leader Numaan Gomaa ran against former President Hosni Mubarak, securing a commendable third-place finish.

The party, established after the 1919 revolution against British occupation, was disbanded in 1953 but revived in 1978 by dedicated members, demonstrating its enduring legacy in Egyptian politics.

Wafd advocates for liberal democracy and free enterprise, but has experienced internal conflicts in recent years.

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