Electoral coalitions must be formed in order to meet Egypt’s challenges today and not tomorrow.
New civil powers, and a handful of the old, are the only ones able to offer the necessary political support for the new Egyptian president ahead of the parliamentary elections. This is the only choice that realises the dreams of many Egyptians to prove that the 25 January and 30 June revolutions are successful. Yet, the question that remains is whether those powers will be able to win the majority of parliamentary seats, hence working with the president in forming a government and turning the new constitutional articles into concrete laws.
Swift action must be taken to form an election coalition that ensures gaining a majority in parliament. New political powers emerged after 25 January and formed parties, while old ones were working under stringent conditions during Hosni Mubarak’s rule, such as Al-Wafd and Al-Tagammou parties. There were parties that came on the scene as a direct result of the revolution like the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Free Egyptians Party, while others reformulated their concepts and introduced new figures such as the Egyptian Patriotic Movement and the Conference Party. In my opinion, if all these political powers joined a broad coalition, they would easily win the majority of the parliament seats in the forthcoming elections.
The rest of the parties that comprise the Egyptian political scene would most likely gain the opposition seats because they either consider themselves to be the opposition or because they could not be absorbed within the electoral coalition such as the Salafist Al-Nour Party.
As a whole, it is clear that a viable future is possible by forming a strong election coalition which incorporates new and old civil currents which are comprised of common perspectives and have the greatest prospective of claiming victory in parliament. This coalition would form the government with the president, cooperate with him in meeting the roadmap requirements and, in general, would overcome any obstacles which might present themselves. The new president wants a strong parliament which wishes to cooperate in building Egypt’s future, not one seeking to inhibit and impede the country’s destiny.
For the aforementioned reasons, it is crucial for political parties to organise themselves now in order to provide a basis for this electoral coalition. I believe that ambiguous perspectives and efforts to distract the public will be harmful and only serve to confuse public opinion. This is why the political currents I mentioned must coordinate efforts to build electoral alliances. I imagine that the Free Egyptians Party and the Conference Party can take the initiative in this regard. On the other hand, it is imperative to state that forming a new political entity as the new president’s party would be a disastrous move because this kind of party would be formed of men who serve their own interests, in addition to being a negative mark taken against the new president, Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi.
Emad Gad is vice president of Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies.