Chaos reigns at Free Egyptians Party as 10 members join pro-state coalition

The Free Egyptians Party declared on Saturday that it would take “legal measures” against 10 members who joined a proposed parliamentary coalition in violation of the party’s decision to shun it.
The party said the members breached the party’s decision to boycott the Coalition to Support the Egyptian State, an alliance of independent and partisan figures eyeing a 400-member majority in Egypt’s recently-elected, 568-seat House of Representatives.
Shehab Wageeh, a spokesperson for the party, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the members who signed the coalition's founding chart on Friday would be subject to questioning, as well as measures that could lead to their dismissal.
“Our party views the coalition as an unofficial, undeclared political party,” said Wageeh. “Article 18 of its founding chart commits its member MPs to vote in a certain direction aligned with the coalition,” he added, arguing that such a stipulation applies only to registered political parties.
The coalition is being run by pro-government For the Love of Egypt’s electoral alliance, headed by retired intelligence general Sameh Seif al-Yazal.
The Free Egyptians Party's founder, business mogul Naguib Sawiris, expressed his rejection of the planned bloc. “If we are all going to be in the same bloc, what were the elections held for?” Sawiris told satellite TV channel MBC Masr last week.
The Wafd Party also witnessed a similar event within its rank, albeit with less tension.
The party’s deputy chairman, Hossam al-Khouli, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the party remains undecided on joining the bloc, noting nonetheless that some of its members had independently attended its declaration.
Badawi Abdel-Latif, a Wafd MP, had been quoted by several press outlets as saying that he had signed the coalition’s document following pressure from security services.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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