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. Here are the options facing Egyptians as they go to the polls. 

The Egyptian Bloc

This coalition is often described as a “secular-leaning” counterbalance to the FJP-dominated Democratic Alliance for Egypt according to Egypt Elections Watch.

The coalition brings together parties that support a state based on the separation of religion and politics. The parties are: the Free Egyptians Party, Egyptian Social Democratic Party, and Al-Tagammu Party.

The coalition claims to promote a liberal economy with a commitment to social justice. But it’s unclear what concrete economic positions it will take because the Free Egyptians Party is pro-business and the Al-Tagammu Party is socialist and has fought economic liberalization. It has also pushed for the adoption of principles that protect individual liberties and rights. 

It began with more than 20 parties, but disagreements over how to share seats on the electoral lists prompted many parties to defect. Some parties cited the participation of ex-members of the National Democratic Party (NDP) –  the ruling party during former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime – as their reason for leaving. 

Half of the 412 candidates the coalition is fielding in the parliamentary elections come from the Free Egyptians Party, while 40 percent come from the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and 10 percent from the Al-Tagammu Party. 

The bloc is expected to have a strong showing among Egyptians seeking a secular state and looking for a counterbalance to Islamist groups, although the defections may split the secular vote significantly.

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