Egyptian voters to decide makeup of parliament in March and April

World Today

The higher electoral commission in Egypt has announced that parliamentary polls will take place in two stages in March and April. With campaigning in full swing, it’s now uncertain if the opposition has a chance to earn a majority in the next assembly. CCTV’s Yasser Hakim reported this story from Cairo.

Egyptian voters to decide makeup of parliament in March and April

The higher electoral commission in Egypt has announced that parliamentary polls will take place in two stages in March and April. With campaigning in full swing, it’s now uncertain if the opposition has a chance to earn a majority in the next assembly. CCTV’s Yasser Hakim reported this story from Cairo.

For months now, political forces have been trying to form alliances to garner as much votes as possible.

“Until now the people don’t know the candidates because the parties are busy fighting over lists and alliances that usually fall apart, it’s too late for campaigning. There are three expected main alliances, the Wafd Party, the nationalistic group, and the National Movement by former Prime Minister Ahmed Shahiq. But nothing materialized yet,” Mohamed Negm, editor of the political magazine October said.

The two major powers with enough funding and experience in elections are the pro-Mubarak politicians and the Islamists. Both are expected to run as independents or under the umbrella of certain parties.

Socialists, liberals and revolutionary youth appear to have less support and are unable to join forces to win over Egyptian voters. Due to their differences, the liberal opposition has failed in all parliamentary and presidential elections since the 2011 uprising.

“There are many names and candidates that we cannot relate to. No one convinced us that they belong to the simple Egyptians. We see them on TV not in the streets. We feel they are running just for their own personal benefits, not to solve our problems,” Esam Showeikh a Cairo resident said.

The liberals are now trying to achieve a consensus over a code of ethics for elections which could become the basis for a collective approach in elections against a possible resurgence of the Islamists. Analysts say, if they don’t created a united front the next parliament would be dominated by Islamists and the Mubarak remnants.