Monday, June 19, 2023

Road to Egyptian presidential elections: Al-Wafd Party’s Yamama is joining the race

On Sunday, Al-Wafd Party made an important announcement.

Abdel Sanad Yamama, the current leader of the party, has been endorsed by the party's High Committee to run in the upcoming presidential elections.

Abdel Sanad Yamama
Current Al-Wafd Party leader Abdel Sanad Yamama 

According to the party, 90% of the High Committee voted to run for office, either in a few months or next winter. The party also announced that its Secretary-General, Yasser El-Hodaiby, has been appointed as the media spokesperson for Yamama's presidential campaign. El-Hodaiby is one of the party's 10 senators in the Senate.

Al-Wafd Party also has 26 members of parliament in the House of Representatives.

Yamama's platform has not been released yet because his party is still working on it. He says that his platform will focus on the economic crisis.

Last week, many Egyptians who follow local news in Egypt learned for the first time that Abdel Sanad Yamama is the leader of the Al-Wafd Party.

In media interviews on pro-regime TV shows, Yamama stated that he would run against Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, even though he believes that El-Sisi is a "historical leader" whose name should be placed alongside the founder of modern Egypt, Mohamed Ali, and the leader of the 1919 Revolution, Saad Zaghloul, in the preamble to the constitution.

Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris directly mocked Abdel Sanad Yamama, asking what he hoped to achieve in the presidential election if he respected Abdel Fattah El-Sisi so much.

The last time the Al-Wafd Party made headlines was when it was embroiled in endless internal conflicts. At the time, it was led by prominent lawyer Bahaa El-Din Abu Shoqa.

Thanks to the news of his nomination, we now know that the 73-year-old international law professor was elected leader of the Al-Wafd Party in March 2022.

Al-Wafd's announcement is the first of its kind for a political party in the race for the upcoming Egyptian presidential elections. The elections may be held later this year, rather than next year, as stipulated by the 2014 Constitution.

According to the second paragraph of Article 140 of the Constitution, the procedures for electing the president of the republic must begin at least 120 days before the end of the presidential term. Additionally, the announcement of the election results must be made at least 30 days before the end of this period.

Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi was elected on 2 April 2018, and his term expires on 2 April 2024. Therefore, the procedures for candidacy and the announcement of the presidential election dates must take place before 3 December.

This is the second time in the history of the New Wafd Party since its revival in the late 1970s that it has fielded a presidential candidate.

In 2005, when Egypt held its first multi-candidate presidential election, Noman Gomaa, then the leader of the Al-Wafd Party, ran for president and came in third place.

Many people believe that the Al-Wafd Party entered the 2005 presidential elections as part of a deal with the Mubarak regime to give the election a more civilized and realistic appearance.

Ironically, the Al-Wafd Party had a much stronger presence on the streets during that time than it does today.

Many people believe that Abdel Sanad Yamama is closer to Moussa Mostafa Moussa politically than he is to Noman Gomaa.

There is no news yet about Mohamed Sadat's candidate “X”, and Ahmed Tantawy is still holding as many meetings as possible with opposition powers and parties. However, it is not yet certain that the country will hold presidential elections in a few months.

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