Who's who in Egypt's election
Today Egyptians are wrapping up the first of several rounds of voting for the first Egyptian parliament since the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak. Two-thirds of the parliamentary seats will be chosen via a proportional list system, and the other third will be chosen as individual candidates.
Every voter will choose two candidates from their governorate and one local list of candidates, often including candidates from multiple parties. The more votes a list gets, the more candidates on its list will be in parliament.
Below are the options facing Egyptians as they go to the polls.
The Democratic Alliance for Egypt
The Democratic Alliance for Egypt, which counts among its members the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), was the first electoral coalition to emerge after Egypt’s uprising. The alliance extended an offer of membership to every party in Egypt, and began with 28 parties. Its membership surged to 40 at one point, but has since dropped to 11 and is now dominated by the FJP.
According to Egypt Elections Watch – produced by online magazines Jadaliyya and Ahram Online with the Arab studies programs at Georgetown University and George Mason University – the FJP tops the Alliance’s electoral lists.
The FJP is fielding more than 500 candidates in the parliamentary elections, compared with only 16 from Al Karama Party and 15 from Ghad Al-Thawra. These are the only significant parties other than FJP that are left in the alliance, according to Egypt Elections Watch.
Some prominent parties who were initially members left the coalition:
- Al-Wafd Party – this liberal party left the coalition in October, saying that there wasn’t enough room for both parties on the Alliance’s electoral lists; the incompatibility between the FJP’s Islamist agenda and Al-Wafd’s secular emphasis created problems.
- Al-Nour Party – this Salafist party said it left because it was being “marginalized” by the liberal parties in the Alliance’s decisionmaking process; some observers say it actually left because the Brotherhood was crowding out its candidates at the top of the lists.
- Democratic Front Party – said it left because a partnership with Islamist groups violated its principles
- Al-Tagammu Party – objected to Islamist members’ calls for the establishment of an Islamic state and sharia