New chairperson of Wafd Party Bahaaeddin Abu Shoka - press photo
CAIRO – 31 March 2018: Bahaaeddin Abu Shoka was elected on Friday as the new chairman of the Wafd Party in the election held earlier Friday at the party’s headquarters in Cairo.
With a voter turnout of about 2,500, Abu Shoka won the chairmanship with 1,300 votes, while his closest competitor, Hossam Al-Kholi, obtained only 900 votes, according to Wafd newspaper.
Current Wafd Chairman El-Sayed el-Badawi had called for a meeting of the party’s general assembly on 30 March to vote on amendments to 15 articles of the party’s bylaws and to elect a new head before Badawi’s second four-year term in office ends in June. Badawi has also formed a seven-member committee to supervise the electoral process.
The candidates for the chairmanship included Abu Shoka; Hossam Al-Kholi, deputy chairman of the party; Yasser Hassan, head of the party’s media committee; and Alaa Shawally, grandson of Saad Zaghloul, the late founder of the party.
Badawi had been named by his party to run in the country’s 2018 presidential election, but he announced his withdrawal, raising controversy about the party’s internal situation. There are media reports suggesting that the party has been divided over the process to amend its bylaws since it was first proposed in November.
The amendments being proposed would see the secretary-general, deputy chairman and treasurer elected by the general assembly rather than the party’s supreme committee, and would reduce the number of supreme committee members appointed by the party chairman from 10 to five.
Who is Bahaaeddin Abu Shoka?
Abu Shoka is an Egyptian lawyer and politician. He was a member of Egypt’s Shura Council from 2012 until it was dissolved in 2013. Abu Shoka is the current secretary-general of the party and head of the Wafd parliamentary bloc.
Following the January 25 Revolution that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak, Abu Shoka was mandated as one of Mubarak’s defense team in the lawsuits filed against him. In mid-June 2012, he was named as a member of the Constituent Assembly of Egypt that created the country’s new constitution.
In his first statement after the election, Abu Shoka said that he will call for a meeting with a large number of political parties to discuss forming a major coalition that can play a vital role on the political scene in the coming period.