The Free Egyptians Party (FEP) will field 227 candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections, the party announced in a Monday press conference.
Party spokesperson Shehab Waguih said that only nine members were included in the electoral coalition of “In the love of Egypt”, which will compete in the list systems. The rest of the candidates are set to compete for individual seats.
“We have not yet decided which lists we will support in the elections, but once we decide, all our members must abide,” Waguih added. “However, we were surprised to find names on the ‘In the love of Egypt’ list, other than those we had sent the alliance. But the youth in our party decided to stay in.”
The party’s electoral plan covers 163 electoral constituencies out of a total of 205. Many electoral districts include several seats, meaning that the party is pushing more than one candidate into one geographical area.
On a further note, the FEP presented some points of its electoral programme, mostly from the party’s economic vision regarding the subsidies system. “Egypt allocates large amount of money every year to the subsidies that all categories of citizens, including foreigners, benefit from,” Waguih stated.
“Our party aims at orienting subsidies to the category that deserves it, replacing unnecessary subsidies on fuel for the poor with cash subsidies, and investing more in education,” he continued. The programme is inspired by that used in Brazil.
The FEP has taken a pro-state stance, and is aligned behind President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. This has been seen in the party’s continuous statements claiming support and approval of presidential and military decisions.
Waguih has also said several times that the party opposed any types of street assemblies, saying that the only acceptable way to protest was through the parliament, referring to the anti-Civil Service law demonstrations.
The party, which had been less engaged in electoral coalitions’ fights, had received criticism from several quarters of using ‘political money’. On the other hand, the party claimed that over 1,500 people had requested to run as parliamentary candidates under the party’s name.
Party president Naguib Sawiris, along with eight senior board members of the party, will not run in the parliamentary elections.