World Bulletin/News Desk
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi will endorse an electoral list of 15 parties vying for seats in upcoming parliamentary polls, in a bid, one party leader has said, to resist opposition candidates who may be "funded by foreign governments."
Al-Sisi's pledge came at a Monday meeting with the heads of 15 Egyptian political parties ahead of parliamentary elections slated for March.
"There are fears that certain foreign entities might fund Muslim Brotherhood or anti-regime candidates," Refaat al-Said, a leading member of the Tagammu Party – which describes itself as "leftist" – told The Anadolu Agency.
He said that party leaders who had attended the meeting with al-Sisi were "seriously considering" the possibility of running on a single electoral list.
"The president has vowed to declare his support for a unified list of parties," al-Said said.
"I told the president that, since he knew who these [foreign-funded] entities were, then they should be exposed and prosecuted," he added.
According to the Egyptian presidency, al-Sisi had stressed at the meeting that the state would not interfere in pre-poll alliances between political parties with a view to "avoiding polarization and division."
It also said that al-Sisi had "reiterated the state's commitment to holding free and fair parliamentary elections."
Last week, Egypt's electoral commission said that parliamentary polls would be held in two stages, starting March 22.
The first phase will be held on March 22 and 23 in 14 Egyptian provinces, while the second will be held on April 25 and 26 in the country's remaining 13 provinces.
Egyptians overseas, meanwhile, will be able to cast ballots on March 21 and 22.
The parliamentary vote is the final phase of an army-imposed transitional roadmap unveiled in mid-2013 following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi – Egypt's first freely elected president – by the army.
The roadmap also included a constitutional referendum and a presidential election, both of which were conducted last year.
The decades-old Muslim Brotherhood group, of which Morsi is a leader, was designated a "terrorist organization" by the Egyptian authorities in late 2013.
The Brotherhood, long considered Egypt's most formidable opposition group, won a string of elections after a popular uprising in early 2011 unseated longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Last Mod: 13 Ocak 2015, 14:41