CAIRO: Political parties and forces are preparing a letter to be sent to the presidency within 72 hours, in which they will include their demands regarding the upcoming electoral law on parliamentary elections, Hussein Abdel Razek, member of the Tagammu Party, said on Saturday.
A number of political parties were invited to attend a seminar on the parliamentary electoral law, organized by the Tagammu Party on March 8, at the headquarters of the latter, in which five parties took part.
Regarding the system that should be adopted by electoral laws regulating parliamentary elections, most parties seemed concerned if the chosen system is based on individual candidacy. “The individual system will destroy political parties,” Ahmed Said, head of the Free Egyptians Party argued.
The laws, which have not been passed up to the present day, have to choose between three options: the list-candidacy system, the individual candidacy system or a combination of both systems. The president of the state is the one to decide which system should be adopted.
“Political parties could boycott elections in case their demands are ignored by the president in drafting the law,” said Essam Shiha, senior official in the Wafd Party.
Political parties fear the return of Islamists to power through the parliament and seek to strengthen their positions by utilizing the list system in their favor, as several political parties are forming alliances to support each other in elections.
“The individual system would be a catastrophe if adopted during the upcoming elections and political parties will not accept it, they will push for a combined system. The presence of the list allows the fair representation of women and Copts,” said Mohamed Abou el-Ghar, Egyptian Democratic Social Party leader.
However, Sayed Abul Al, head of the Tagammu Party, disagreed stating: “I am probably among the minority that is in favor of the individual system and adopt the list model only for marginalized groups.”
Besides, Abdul Ghaffar Shukr, Socialist Popular Coalition Party supports a combined system. There are four political currents in Egypt (liberal, socialist, unionist or pan-Arabism and Islamist) but the first three seem to be avoiding any coalitions with Islamists.
During the last elections, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Nour Party won 80 percent of parliamentary seats with the individual system. “The individual system resulted in more power for the “rich” and the “religious,” in addition to considering the MP as the person who serves your interests in the parliament, more as a favor,” said Ahmed Fawzy, secretary general of the Egyptian Democratic Socialist Party.
Originally published in Youm7.