Al-Wafd enters Egypt presidential race

One of Egypt's largest legal opposition parties, al-Wafd, says it will field a candidate against President Hosni Mubarak in the September poll.

    Numan Gumaa (R) has until 4 August to register

    Egypt's official news agency MENA reported that Doctor Numan Gumaa, head of al-Wafd (Delegation Party), would run for president on 7 September.

    The party had criticised changes to Egypt's constitution to allow for contested elections, charging, like most of the opposition, that registration conditions for candidates were too strict to mount a serious challenge to Mubarak.

    But the leadership of the centre-right party made a U-turn on its election boycott pledge and approved by 30 votes to 10 the principle of running in the elections. A majority agreed to nominate Gumaa, who has until 4 August to register his candidacy with the electoral commission.

    The constitutional change was approved in a 25 May referendum although the country's judges have charged that the official results of the vote were rigged.

    Until now, Egyptians had been able to only say yes or no to a single candidate appointed by parliament, which is dominated by Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP).

    Mubarak, 77, is widely expected to win a fifth six-year mandate. His main challenger will be Ayman Nur, who heads the al-Ghad party and is currently being tried on what he says are trumped up charges of forgery.

    The party's decision to field a candidate will weaken the boycott decision taken by the main opposition parties including al-Tajamua al-Yasari (the Left-Wing Alliance), al-Nasiri (National) and the Muslim Brotherhood.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Strong quotes for Martin Luther King Jr Day

    Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr that resonate today

    Quotes of justice, education, religion and race said by MLK Jr.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.