By Amira El-Fekki, The Cairo Post
“A parliament free of Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis,” Sayed Abdul Al, chairman of the Tagammu Party said in a press conference Sunday, describing the Egyptian Front Coalition on the day of its launching.
The Coalition constitutes the biggest political alliance so far ahead of parliamentary elections, as it includes eight political parties, in addition to the Egyptian Trade Union Federation, the Professional Syndicates Union and the Farmers Syndicate.
Mostafa Bakry, journalist and vice-president of coalition member party “Misr Baladi” made the opening speech and announced the mission statement, called the “coalition’s pact” which comprised 10 articles, mainly focusing on boosting national economy, expanding internal investment, facing corruption, maintaining positive foreign relations, in addition to a number of issues to improve the conditions of the less privileged majority.
“We will not accept political reconciliation with those whom the court issued verdicts against”, Bakry said at the beginning. He added that the empowerment of women – especially single female households – youth and the handicapped was on top of the coalition’s agenda, in addition to a top priority concern, the Renaissance Dam.
The coalition will also form an administrative committee consisting of all party heads, which will in its turn design an executive committee.
As for its socio-economic vision, the coalition emphasized on social justice, the rights to labor, education, health and housing and the empowerment of local communities, as announced by Taggammu Party spokesperson Nabil Zaki.
“Our purpose is to include citizens in the decision-making process by providing them with tools which would enable them to properly express their needs in the parliament,” former Minister of Social Solidarity Ali Moselhy told The Cairo Post after the conference.
The coalition members said they aimed at acquiring a majority of parliamentary seats. “We will not exclude any political group from joining us,” Vice-President of coalition member the Egyptian National Movement stated during the conference.
Nonetheless, the coalition’s stance against Islamists was expressed on several occasions by their members. “Down with the forces of terrorism,” Abdul Al said.
The conference was attended by many former officials and MPs since the time of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, many of them founders of the participating parties.Ahmed Shafiq, who served as minister of civil aviation under Mubarak’s regime, is the chairman of the Egyptian National Movement, which founded the coalition. The Congress Party was founded by Amr Moussa, who served as secretary-general for the Arab League and before that as minister of foreign affairs in Mubarak’s time, while Al-Ghad Party is headed by former MP Ayman Nour.
Moselhy, who won in the parliamentary elections of 2005, was appointed by Mubarak’s Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif as Minister of Solidarity. The presence of syndicates also strengthens the position of the coalition in parliament, because many members have established contacts and reputations due to their experience in parliamentary affairs.
Parties in the coalition are the Congress Party, Al-Ghad Party, Tagammu Party, Masr al-Haditha (Modern Egypt), MasrBaladi, El-Geel Democratic Party (the Generation Democratic Party), Republican People’s Party, and the Egyptian National Movement.