Weak coalitions could delay parliamentary elections: jurist
The Egyptian parliament in Cairo - AFP
By NOURHAN MAGDI

CAIRO: Parliamentary elections might be delayed due to the weak electoral alliances that recently announced their lists for the elections, said Jurist Essam el-Eslamboly to Youm7 Saturday.

Jurists criticized the large number of political parties running for elections, which they said could prevent citizens, especially illiterates, from voting for “unfamiliar” parties and currents.

Eslamboly added that the law of dividing governorates into constituencies has not been issued yet, which he said automatically increases the probability of delaying parliamentary elections.
The parliamentary elections should take place within six months of the adoption of the constitution, which was adopted in mid-January, according to the post-July 3 road map. The date of the elections has not been announced.

In preparation for the elections, a number of political parties decided to run independently while others merged together to form civil electoral alliances,  Al-Ahram reported Thursday. twelve alliances have been announced so far.

Among the recently announced alliances, there are: Amr Moussa’s alliance, the Egyptian Wafd Coalition, Egyptian Front, Democratic Civil Current, Social Justice Alliance, Social Civil Current, Independence Current, El-Sadat, 25/30 alliance and professional unions’ alliance.
“The electoral alliances going on in Egypt three months ago did not manage to bring good formations,” said Kamal el-Helbawy, a Muslim Brotherhood dissident, to The Cairo Post Saturday.
Helbawy added that the problem is not in the alliance as a device but in the political parties themselves and their aspirations to gain as much power as they can in the forthcoming elections.
Many political parties expressed their fears after the adoption of the new Parliament Law which allocates more seats for the single system (480 seats) than list candidates (120 seats). They argued over the absence of equal opportunities in the coming parliament.
This might be the reason that prompted many political parties, especially small parties and those without good funding, to join rising electoral alliances to gain more power and control in the coming parliament.

With more seats allocated for the individual candidates in the coming parliament, fear rose among politicians of the possibility of former National Democratic Party (NDP) members and Muslim Brotherhood members participating under the new law.

However, many disregarded these fears claiming that the coming parliament will not include many Islamists.

The head of the Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, Amr Hisham Rabei, told Youm7 that the Islamists will only “gain 25 percent of the coming Parliament, and the majority will be of Salafists and not Brotherhood.”

Also, Helbawy noted that the expected weak presence of the Political Islam candidates in the coming parliament is due to their huge loss of the support of the masses.

He further commented on the huge number of parties running for elections, independently or in alliances, saying, “After two revolutions, it is a mess to have over 90 political parties and entities running for elections.”
The alliances also faced criticism due to the lack of solid platforms, which the public should use to determine who to vote for. They have, however, issued a document including the goals of both the January 25 Revolution and June 30 protests.

Additional reporting by Ahmed Arafa, Mohamed Magdy al-Sisi and Kamel Kam

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