Al-Wafd’s decision to participate in elections sparks controversy

Al-Wafd's decision to participate in elections has stirred controversy in the Egyptian political landscape with some welcoming the decision and others expressing disappointment.

Head of the Tagammu Party Refaat al-Saeed said the al-Wafd decision was expected. The party realizes the risk of politically separating itself from Egyptians through a boycott, al-Saeed added.

“All respect to Wafd decision,” said al-Saeed, “Al-Badawi told me before it’s crazy to boycott elections. The Muslim Brotherhood will stand for it, considering it a battle.” Tagammu will also participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections and coordinate with other opposition parties, al-Saeed said.

The Tagammu chief denied suggestions that decisions to participate are because of deals struck with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).

Nasserite party secretary general Ahmed Hassan also welcomed the al-Wafd decision. “Approvals of Wafd, Nasserite and Tagammu parties will help us coordinate through our party coalition,” he said.

Meanwhile, Democratic Front vice-chief Sekina Fouad said their party intends to boycott the elections because of the likelihood of fraud. Fouad said the Democratic Front does not want to supply a flawed process with legitimacy.  

Fouad added that the Democratic Front hoped al-Wafd would boycott the election. The ruling regime, who only wants major parties to participate would be embarrassed by the gesture, said Fouad.

Hamdi Hassan, MB parliamentary bloc spokesperson, said al-Wafd's decision will definitely lead the MB to participate, especially after it became clear that the opposition will not be able to unify under a boycott.

George Ishaq, National Association for Change coordinator, considered al-Wafd's decision “a big loss”. Participation gives the regime legitimacy, according to Ishaq.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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