Social Democratic Party chairman denies internal elections were rigged

In an interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm, Mohamed Abul Ghar, chairman of the Social Democratic Party, said that all party members believe in social democracy, public and private freedoms and human rights, but they are divided into old and modern idelogies. He warned them against trying to control the party, which would threaten its stability.
He also denied that internal elections were rigged and said that he would not run for the chairmanship again, nominating Ziad Bahaa Eddin for the position.
Q: Why did leftist and right-wing members within the party exchange accusations during the General Conference?
A: There is no division between leftist and right-wing members. All members believe in social democracy, public and private freedoms and human rights, but they are divided between old and modern ideologies.
Q: But why were there disagreements?
A: There are disagreements over how to manage the party.
Q: Did the new generation remove the old from the party leadership?
A: Nobody wants one certain ideology to control the party.
Q: Why did you not intervene earlier, before problems escalated?
A: I did. I met with 45 leading figures and told them this could threaten the stability of the party. I even formed a committee of the two ideologies for this purpose.
Q: And what happened?
A: The old ideologies withdrew from the elections, and I tendered my resignation because of that, but it was not approved. The committee met again but failed to reach an agreement.
Q: Was the General Conference still held according to schedule?
A: Yes, and the elections went fine.
Q: The secretary general and the vice chairman won by acclamation. Was this because of a deal?
A: Could be, but I was no part of it.
Q: Did the old ideology criticize your committee when the new ideology won the majority in the supreme body elections?
A: The committee I formed had nothing to do with the elections.
Q: You are accused of excluding certain branches in the provinces from the elections. Is this true?
A: They did not meet certain requirements. For example, the condition of 30 percent women in the organizational structure.
Q: But is this not a problem for the Upper Egypt branches in particular?
A: This condition was implemented by the old ideology. I was against it. 
Q: Do you expect the old ideology will leave the party now that it has lost?
A: They did not so far, and we will not abandon them.
Q: The old ideology considers itself more revolutionary in opposing public issues. Is this true?
A: Differences are over ways of expression, but we all agree on the basic issues.
Q: Will you run for the chairmanship again?
A: No. Ziad Bahaa Eddin will run and I will remain an ordinary member.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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