Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Egyptian Front Coalition—a newly-established electoral alliance of mainly Leftist and liberal parties—defies political “labels” and seeks instead to achieve “patriotic” goals, one of its senior members told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Qadri Abu Hussein, a former governor of Egypt’s Helwan province, said: “The Egyptian Front Coalition is a political, electoral alliance comprised of a group of parties that agree with one another and seeks to contest the forthcoming parliamentary elections together . . . It is a patriotic alliance seeking to serve [the] homeland and citizen without acting on behalf of a specific faction.”
The coalition has several political parties from the era of former president Hosni Mubarak among its ranks, such as the Ghad Party, Tagammu Party and the Egyptian National Movement Party, among others. This has led to accusations that the new coalition is composed of remnants, or feloul, of the Egypt of the pre-Jan 25 Revolution era.
In response, Abu Hussein said: “This does not concern us and we will not label people . . .We are all Egyptians and the current constitution we unanimously agreed on does not label anyone and rejects exclusion and quotas.”
According to Abu Hussein, the coalition will only nominate “popular and socially accepted” figures for the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
The majority of the current leadership in Egypt has been linked, in one way or another, with Mubarak’s regime, Abu Hussein said, arguing, “Does the term ‘remnants’ apply to them all?”
When asked whether the coalition will accept parties with a religious background into its fold, he said: “Those who ideologically agree with us are welcome. We seek [to establish] a civil state and therefore we will not accept those who seek a religious one.”
As for recent criticism of the coalition being a major champion of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and his military-backed government, Abu Hussein said: “We are political supporters of the roadmap and we seek to achieve its third stage; that is, the parliamentary elections.”
“We will support President Sisi in his discourse and platform and we will also support the government in its plans and programs. But this [support] is not absolute; we may disagree or agree,” he added.