Media wars: Al-Wafd vs. Al-Masry Al-Youm

Mahmoud Abaza, president of opposition party Al-Wafd, described independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm as a "fascist newspaper" for printing details of an alleged deal between Al-Wafd and the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).

According to the alleged agreement, Al-Wafd will be given 32 seats in parliament in return for withdrawing its support for Mohamed ElBaradei–a would-be candidate in next year’s presidential elections–and for opposing the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) opposition group.

At a press conference on Monday, Abaza accused Al-Masry Al-Youm of deliberately trying to tarnish his party’s reputation and credibility. "They know they are lying," he said, adding that he planned to sue the newspaper.

Leading MB member Gamal Heshmat expressed little surprise over the allegation, saying that Al-Wafd was known for striking political deals with the ruling regime. "Mahmoud el-Shazli of Al-Wafd’s executive board admitted to this in 2003," said Heshmat. "That’s why he lost in parliamentary elections."

NDP Secretary-General Safwat el-Sherif, for his part, denied that any deals had been made with opposition parties. "The only deal we make is with the Egyptian people–namely, to do our best to safeguard their interests," he said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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