NDP Has Challenges Cut Out for It

NDP Has Challenges Cut Out for It

According to  recent articles published in the Wall Street Journal and the Middle East Report Online the ruling regime in Egypt is set to face challenges despite alleged electoral victory and signs of economic recovery.

The articles state that the ruling National Democratic Party, weighed down by circumstances, including internal squabbling and a probable crisis of electoral legitimacy, has its work set after making promises of economic growth of 8% during the next five years. The promise was part of a hopeful social and economic program designed by leaders of President Mubarak’s ruling party during the party’s 7th annual conference earlier this week.
The promise comes as the NDP gears up for the presidential polls slated for 2011.

There were many factors surrounding the outcome of the parliamentary polls based on the opposition, namely the Muslim brotherhood and Wafd Party boycotting the second run off. Moreover, there were many NDP candidates who criticized what happened in the elections where a new generation of pro-business NDP politicians defeated the party’s older guard, many of whom were seen as focused more on political stability and preserving the state’s heavy-handed role in the economy, rather than economic progress.

Many NDP candidates, who lost to their colleagues, felt disappointed by the election results and betrayed by the party, going as far as agreeing with the political opposition who described the farcical elections as a staged show.

Ali Al Din Helal, a member of the NDP general secretariat, argued that it was only expected that there would be issues with those who lost the election, playing down internal divisions; stressing there were always people who cared more for stability, while others whose eyes were on change.  He added that change by definition creates dislocation.

The author writes that the ruling NDP may also face questions of legitimacy after the opposition called the parliamentary
vote unfair, alleging that there was monitored and documented cases of vote-rigging and intimidation. During his address, Mubarak recognized there were irregularities, however, he alleged they did not affect the outcome.

Egypt’s biggest opposition forces the Muslim Brotherhood and the Al-wafd party boycotted the runoffs with the intention of exposing the NDP and their corrupt tactics during the polls.

The articles highlight that if the opposition boycotts the Presidential Elections, it could very well remove the legitimacy of any successor to Mubarak.