Egyptian Front will return Mubarak-era politics to parliament: Sabbahi
Hamdeen Sabbahi - YOUM7/Osama Mohamed
By GHADA ATEF

CAIRO: There are no discussions to be held with the Egyptian Front Coalition as it represents Mubarak-era politics, former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi said Tuesday night at a meeting of the Democratic Current Coalition.

The Democratic Current Coalition, which includes Sabbahi’s Popular Current and the Dostor, Karama, and Al-Adl parties, was discussing whether it will field candidates for upcoming parliamentary elections, Al-Adl Party President Hamdy Sotouhy said in a press statement after the meeting.

The Egyptian Front Coalition, comprised of eight political parties, is headed by Ahmed Shafiq. Shafiq was minister of Aviation under former President Hosni Mubarak and was the last Mubarak-appointed prime minister, in addition to placing second in Egypt’s 2012 presidential race.

Members of the Egyptian Front, however, rejected Sabbahi’s claims. Masr Baladi Party head Qadry Abu Hussein told Youm7 the coalition is “looking forward to the country’s future, and will never go back, whatever criticism we will face.”

“Sabbahi’s statement is predictable but irresponsible,” Ghad Party head Moussa Mostafa Moussa told The Cairo Post.  “This not the time for clashes.”

Moussa said the front represents all Egyptians as it includes the Farmers Syndicate and the Egyptian Trade Union in addition to other parties with different political visions, including the leftist Tagammu Party.

“The Ghad Party will not include members of the dissolved National Democratic Party in its election list, but other parties in the front might do so,” Moussa told The Cairo Post. Even so, he said, that does not necessarily mean the return of the Mubarak regime.

“The candidates must be good people, whether they are former NDP members or not,” he said. “Whoever has faced corruption cases will never be on the front’s election lists.”

Yahia Qadry, vice president of Shafiq’s Egyptian National Movement Party, also criticized Sabbahi’s statement. ”The ex-presidential candidate who only got 3 percent of the votes in the [2014] elections needs to read the front’s documents to know if it will help Mubarak’s regime to return or not,” he said, according to Youm7.

While the Democratic Current has not decided whether it will participate in elections or not, Heba Yassin, a Popular Current leader, said Egypt needs representatives who seek the public interest in the next parliament. Egypt needs parliamentarians “who look to develop the country” rather than offering short-term services as the basis of their electoral platforms, Yassin told The Cairo Post. Yassin also said the coming parliament needs members who will use the 2014 Constitution to implement real laws that serve the revolution’s goals.

The coalition is still discussing its stance on the upcoming elections, she said.

The Egyptian Front Coalition will meet next Monday to set specific dates to announce its candidates from each party, said Moussa.

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