Egypt’s political opposition, the Wafd party founded in 1918, has threatened to boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections in protest to state television’s refusal to broadcast its campaign messages.
During the last parliamentary elections held in 2005, it won only six of the 454 seats available. This time round the party is expected to field 250 out of the 508 seats.
If the party does in fact follow through with its boycott threats, it would be a complete change of heart after it shunned calls by former IAEA chief and founder of the National Association for Change, Dr. Mohamed El-Baradei, and founder of the National Association for Change to boycott the elections on the grounds that there were no guarantees of integrity during the polls.
Wafd’s threats coincided with reports by Egypt’s largest and most influential opposition movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, that more than 200 of its members had been arrested following after the group’s chairman, Dr. Mohamed Badie, confirmed that they would participate in the elections.
The MB is expected to run for 30% of the seats although it is anticipated that it will acquire no more than 15 seats. In 2005, the Bbrotherhood candidates secured 88 seats, surprising the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).