Egyptian Bloc

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The Egyptian Bloc
الكتلة المصرية
Founded 16 August 2011
Dissolved September 2012
Ideology Liberalism[1][2][3]
Secularism[4][5][6]
Political position Centre-left[7]
Colors Red, White and Black
Website
http://www.elkotlaelmasreya.com/
Politics of Egypt
Political parties
Elections

The Egyptian Bloc (Arabic: الكتلة المصرية‎, al-kutla al-miṣrīya) was an electoral alliance in Egypt. It was formed in August 2011[8] by several liberal, social democratic, and leftist political parties and movements, as well as the traditional Islamist Sufi Liberation Party to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood, and its affiliated Freedom and Justice Party from winning the parliamentary election in November of that year. As of September 2012, all former constituent parties left the bloc, joined other alliances or merged into other parties.

Establishment[edit]

The 15 groups shared the common vision of Egypt as a "civil democratic state", and feared that in case of an Islamist electoral victory the constitution could be changed to an Islamic one.[1]

The establishment of the coalition was publicly announced on 15 August 2011 in Cairo.[9] The assembly's objective is to present a united list of candidates for the parliamentary election, to raise funds and to campaign together. The alliance supports Prime Minister Essam Sharaf's proposal of a "constitutional decree" that could prevent the Islamists from unilaterally amending the constitution or drafting a new one, even in case of winning a parliamentary majority. Analysts see the formation as a "final attempt" of the liberal and secularist camp to cope with the Muslim Brotherhood's advance in Egypt's post-revolutionary political landscape, in respect of organisational structure, profile and publicity.[1]

Platform[edit]

The programmatic ambitions of the alliance are to establish Egypt as a modern civil state in which science plays an important role, and to create equality and social justice in the country. The objectives of the Bloc also include to make a decent life possible for the poorer population, including education, health care and proper housing. It advocates a pluralistic, multi-party democracy and rejects religious, racial, and sexual discrimination.[10]

Development[edit]

Several leading members of the long-standing national-liberal New Wafd Party have also joined the alliance, even though the party had announced to contest the elections together with the Freedom and Justice Party.[1][11]

In late October 2011, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party broke away from the Egyptian Bloc, claiming that the bloc contained remnants of the old regime, and formed the Revolution Continues Alliance. The Egyptian Socialist Party followed this example.[12]

By early November, only the Free Egyptians Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, and Tagammu remained components of the alliance.[2][7]

After the elections of 2011/2012, the ESDP left the Bloc, complaining that the other partners were more concerned over the secular-Islamist divide than over the differences between the former regime and the forces of the revolution.[13] In September 2012, the Tagammu Party joined the Revolutionary Democratic Coalition.[14]

Results of the 2011 Parliamentary elections[edit]

In the 2011/2012 parliamentary elections, the Egyptian Bloc won 2,402,238 votes out of 27,065,135 correct votes, or roughly 8.9% of all votes. The Egyptian Bloc thus received 33 seats out of 332 in the Egyptian Parliament. The 33 seats were divided between members of the Bloc as follows:

In addition, one independent candidate belonging to the Free Egyptians Party won one of the 168 seats allocated for independent candidates.

Thus, the Egyptian Bloc won a total of 34 seats out of 500 (6.8%) in the 2012 Egyptian Parliament, thus becoming the fourth largest political block in the parliament.

Shura Council elections[edit]

During the Shura council elections in January and February 2012, the bloc was divided considering the question whether or not to participate. The Free Egyptians Party decided to boycot the vote, citing the reluctance of authorities to address irregularities during the lower house elections. The ESDP and Tagammu, on the other hand, insisted on fielding candidates.[15]

Member organisations[edit]

Former member organisations

Social and labour organisations

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Saleh, Yasmine (16 August 2011), "Egypt liberals launch ‘The Egyptian Bloc’ to counter Islamists in Nov. vote", Al Arabiya News, retrieved 22 July 2014 
  2. ^ a b "Liberal Egyptian Bloc launches its 2011 election campaign", Ahram Online, 1 November 2011, retrieved 22 July 2014 
  3. ^ Shukrallah, Salma (19 August 2011), "Election fever hits Egypt as parties form coalitions to compete for first post-Mubarak parliament", Ahram Online, retrieved 22 July 2014 
  4. ^ Al-Tamimi, Aymenn Jawad (16 December 2011), "The Failure of Secular and Liberal Egyptians", The American Spectator, retrieved 22 July 2014 
  5. ^ Sanger-Weaver, Jodi (28 December 2011), "Islamists at the Forefront of Egyptian Elections", Prospect, retrieved 22 July 2014 
  6. ^ Youssef, Abdel Rahman (11 January 2012), "Copts, Islamists face off in Minya run-offs", The Daily News Egypt, retrieved 22 July 2014 
  7. ^ a b Sanger-Weaver, Jodi (November 2011), "Elections in Egypt: The Muslim Brotherhood, Theocracy and Democracy", Prospect, retrieved 22 July 2014 
  8. ^ "A Partial Guide to the Egyptian Political Parties". Connected in Cairo. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Mahmoud, Hussein (16 August 2011), "Newly Formed Egyptian Bloc to Compete in Elections, FJP Welcomes", Ikhanweb, retrieved 22 July 2014 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "14 Liberal, leftist and Sufi forces create electoral bloc in Egypt", Ahram Online, 15 August 2011, retrieved 22 July 2014 
  11. ^ a b c "Egypt political parties coalesce in readiness for parliamentary elections", Egypt.com, 13 September 2011, retrieved 22 July 2014 
  12. ^ a b c Raslan, Sarah (23 October 2011), "Revolution Continues Alliance stabilises, one day ahead of registration deadline", Ahram Online, retrieved 22 July 2014 
  13. ^ a b All broken up: new coalitions form as old electoral alliances die out, Daily News Egypt, 25 August 2012, retrieved 22 July 2014 
  14. ^ a b Revolutionary Democratic Coalition: A new voice on Egypt's Left, Ahram Online, 19 September 2012, retrieved 22 July 2014 
  15. ^ Egyptian Bloc divided over boycotting Shura Council elections, Egypt Independent, 10 January 2012, retrieved 22 July 2014 
  16. ^ "'Civil' powers unite to form 'Conference Party'". Egypt Independent. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2014.