CAIRO: Al-Wafd party has released a preliminary list of its proposed candidates for the People’s Assembly elections next November if the party decides against a boycott.
The party’s executive committee released the names of 125 candidates, but in a meeting Tuesday chaired by party leader Al-Sayed Al-Badawi the party decided to extend the deadline for further applications until Sept. 7.
But the party has yet to reach a final decision on allowing its proposed candidates to run for parliament, and may boycott the elections altogether.
In a conference held last Sunday, Al-Badawi demanded guarantees to ensure free and fair elections.
Al-Badawi’s demands run similar to demands made by other opposition figures and call for the return of judicial supervision over the ballot boxes.
Regarding a possible boycott, party leaders have insinuated that Al-Wafd will seek a consensus with other opposition parties before making a decision, but have decided to release the nameS of potential candidates in case they do decide to take part.
However, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that party member Mounir Fakhri Abdel-Nour had questioned the release of the preliminary list before being referred to the party’s higher council for approval.
He also questioned why the list was announced by Wafdist MP Tarek Sibaq. In response, Sibaq said that it was only a preliminary list and that it was vetted by the executive committee headed by the party’s deputy leader Mohamed Sarhan. He added that it would be submitted again to the executive committee and then the party’s higher council.
Sarhan, who also heads a special committee to assess the candidates, had said that the party would continue to vet the candidates before compiling a list to refer to the executive committee, which in turn was still mulling the possibility of boycotting the elections if the guarantees demanded by Al-Badawi were not met.
Sarhan also pointed out that a final list by the party was not complete, and that names that were released were those of applicants who expressed an interest in running for parliament.
Amongst the names announced by Sibaq are party deputy Fouad Badrawy, former independent MP Alaa Abdel-Moneim, party spokesman Mohamed Sherdy, former MP and political sociology professor Mona Makram Ebeid and Sibaq himself.