Wafd’s Margeritte Azer: If we see that rigging is widespread, we’ll boycott

Margeritte Azer, the head of the operations office at the Wafd Party, spoke to Al-Masry Al-Youm about plans and expectations for Sunday's election ‬


Al-Masry Al-Youm: How many seats is the Wafd competing for?

Margeritte Azer: We are running on a total of 198 seats including 17 of the women’s quota seats.


Al-Masry: What is the expected number of seats that the Wafd can win?

Azer: We'll get from 20 to 30 seats.


Al-Masry: Which districts are considered Wafd's strongholds?

Azer: Daqalia, Alexandria, Souhag, Aswan and in Cairo; Bab al-Shaaria, Shubra, and of course Dokki and Agouza where our headquarters are based.


Al-Masry: How would you describe the atmosphere of the current round of elections so far?

Azer: Nothing new. We are mostly faced with regular problems such as our banners being torn down, experiencing tensions between different candidates, refusing the implementation of court orders, finding obstacles when issuing delegation permits for candidates to have representatives in electoral ballots.


Al-Masry: There are allegations of back door deals between the Wafd Party and the ruling National Democratic Party. What are your thoughts?

Azer: Absolutely, such deals are non-existent. There is no prominent party that could do that; for many reasons. First it's a double-edged sword. If the party makes a deal, it will loose its popularity amongst its members because it will show preferences when deals are made for members and not other candidates. This will create sensitivity amongst Wafd members. How can I say there is rigging and then do back door deals? I wouldn’t be called an opposition party.


Al-Masry: How successful have your campaigns been?

Azer: People are calling us and asking who our candidates are. That means that people are interested in the party and not in individuals. The party is obviously becoming more active. Our internal elections happened through a democratic process that most of the other parties lack.


Al-Masry: What's the main feature of the Wafd's program?‬

Azer: We have plans for education, health and economy. We have formed a shadow cabinet that reflects the party's beliefs.


Al-Masry: Your party is still saying it could boycott if the elections is corrupt, in what way are you going to do that?

Azer: If we observe rigging in districts we'll withdraw from those districts. If we find it in multiple places we will withdraw from the entire elections. If we see that rigging is widespread we'll boycott.

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