Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris – Press photo
CAIRO – 9 April 2018: Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris denied on Sunday April 8 split reports within his faction of the Free Egyptians Party over proposed merger with al-Ghad Party.
On his official Twitter account, Sawiris wrote: "It is totally unfounded, especially with regard to a party that did not even win a single seat in the last [parliamentary] election."
Former presidential candidate and chairperson of al-Ghad party Moussa Moustafa Moussa called for merging all parties into one big alliance under the name of “Entity of Egypt”. He added that his party will contact the Free Egyptians party over the merge.
However, several media outlets reported that an altercation aroused between Moussa and Free Egyptians party chairperson Mahmoud al-Alaily over the notion of multi-party merging. The latter asked Moussa to not interfere into any other political party’s internal affairs. In return, Moussa doubted the “legitimacy” of Sawaris’s faction inside the Free Egyptians party.
The liberal Free Egyptians party, which has the largest political representation in the 596-member House of Representatives with a total of 65 seats, is currently divided into two factions. A faction headed by Essam Khalil who was elected as the party leader in 2015, and another faction led by Alaily who was announced as head of the party in a parallel internal election held by the Sawiris faction in May 2017.
The party was founded by Sawiris after the 2011 uprising which toppled long-time President Hosni Mubarak; the party witnessed a discord in December 2016 when party members headed by chairperson Khalil voted to dissolve the party’s board of trustees after amendments were made to its bylaws. Soon after, Sawiris was ousted when he failed to show up for questioning over accusations of libel against party members. The move led the businessman to file a legal challenge against the party's decision.
The Egyptian Congress party called on Sunday for merging a total of 104 political parties within five or six political coalitions.