Sunday, October 23, 2011

Election Deadline in Egypt

Today's papers are abuzz with the two-day extension granted by the High Elections Commission to prospective parliamentary candidates.  (Until October 22, 2011)

Egypt's main electoral coalitions have submitted their candidacy papers. One big coalition consists of the Egyptian Bloc (mostly liberal and leftist), which will field at least 332 candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections. The Bloc includes the Free Egyptians party, Al-Tagammu, and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party. There are also members of the Revolutionary Youth running with the Bloc.

Amr Hamzawy (who works with me here in PPAD) belongs to the Misr Horreya party, which apparently withdrew from the Bloc and is now allied with the Popular Socialist Alliance, whom I have interviewed and the Arab Nasserists. Their group is to be called "The Revolution is On." 

The Democratic Alliance, led by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, is fielding 265 candidates. Sobhy Saleh, of the MB, says that "Egypt is an Islamic State, and nothing else." The Salafi's and the MB have had a spat, and now it seems that the Salafis (Nour and Asala parties) have allied themselves with the Jama'a al-Islamiya Construction and Development Party.

There is also a youth movement called the Coalition of Youth, which includes the April 6th Movement, the Popular Alliance, and the Youth for Freedom and Justice, as well as the Equality and Development Party.

The People's Assembly consists of 498 seats, two-thirds of which are allocated to the closed party list system, and one third to the individual candidate system.

Around 3024 people had registered as of last Monday as parliamentary candidates, most of them for the individual candidates seats. Many of those who registered as independents in the first seven days were members of the former NDP.

Selected Sources
Gamal Essam El-Din, "Little Election Wars," Al-Ahram Weekly 
"Brotherhood party: We will compete for over 50% of People's Assembly Seats," Al Masry Al Youm 
Heba Fahmy,"Egyptian bloc to field over 300 candidates, Democratic Alliance still to determine number," Daily News Egypt

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