For the Love of Egypt: Winner of parliamentary elections?

For the Love of Egypt scooped all 60 list seats up for grabs in the initial round of voting in the country’s first parliamentary elections

Rajia Aboulkheir - Al Arabiya News
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A political alliance loyal to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi emerged this week as the strong winner of the first round of parliamentary elections.

For the Love of Egypt scooped all 60 list seats up for grabs in the initial round of voting in the country’s first parliamentary elections in three years.

“Their victory came as a strong statement and message to their opponents,” Mohammed Nabawy, a political activist and spokesperson of the Tamarod movement, told Al Arabiya News.

“If they win the second round, the alliance will have a solid position in the Egyptian parliament based on its popularity among citizens.”

Osama Saraya, former editor-in-chief of state-run Al-Ahram newspaper, told Al Arabiya News that the alliance - headed by Sameh Seif al-Yazal, an ex-general who now heads a pro-government think tank - has attracted “a lot of attention” since its creation in Feb. 2015 “because of its composition.”

The group is made up of “well-known and controversial public figures, as well as a vast number of political parties,” Saraya added.

For the Love of Egypt (Le Hob Masr) gathers a number of high-profile public figures, including Tamarod founder Mahmoud Badr, former Information Minister Osama Heikal, journalist Mustafa Bakry, and former Sports Minister and 1980s footballer Taher Abu Zeid.

The political parties in the alliance include the Free Egyptian Party, the Future of Homeland, the Wafd Party, the Conference Party, the Reform and Development Party, and the Conservative Party.

Nabawy said the diversity of the alliance was a notable asset: “The coalition will have more influence in Egypt as it will be able, through its different members, to get in touch with more parties and social classes.”

He added: “The founder of the alliance clearly understood the importance of gathering members from different parties and professions.”

However, Saraya said the alliance “doesn’t have a clear ideology” because of its diversity, adding that it would follow “Sisi’s vision” because “all [its] members know that Egypt is going through a tough phase, and approve of the idea that parliament has to be in harmony with [his] perspective.”

For the Love of Egypt, which was formed in response to Sisi’s call for a unified front in parliament, deny being part of the government.

However, the coalition’s founder said it “will support... Sisi in his successful path leading the Egyptian state.”

Saraya said the alliance “is trying to prevent any political force from being against Sisi,” and wants “to avoid any political competition in Egypt.” As such, it “will be the winner of the parliamentary election.”

The alliance is expected to secure the remaining 60 seats in the next voting round on Nov. 22-23, Reuters news agency reported.

Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012, when a court dissolved the elected main chamber, then dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, reversing a major accomplishment of the 2011 uprising that toppled then-President Hosni Mubarak.

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