The Egyptian Bloc (Arabic: الكتلة المصرية, al-kutla al-miṣrīya) was an electoral alliance in Egypt. It was formed in August 2011 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.
|Founded||16 August 2011|
|Colors||Red, White and Black|
The establishment of the coalition was publicly announced on 15 August 2011 in Cairo. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. In September 2012, the Tagammu Party joined the Revolutionary Democratic Coalition.
Results of the 2011 Parliamentary elections
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:
- Egyptian Social Democratic Party: 16 seats
- Free Egyptians Party: 14 seats
- National Progressive Unionist Party: 3 seats
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
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 boycott 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.
Former member organisations
- Freedom Egypt Party
- Egyptian Communist Party
- Democratic Front Party
- Awareness Party
- Sufi Liberation Party
- Socialist Popular Alliance Party (withdrawn in October)
- Socialist Party of Egypt (withdrawn in October)
- Egyptian Social Democratic Party (withdrawn after the 2011/2012 elections)
- Free Egyptians Party
- National Progressive Unionist Party (Tagammu)
Social and labour organisations
- National Association for Change
- The National Council
- the Farmers' Syndicate
- the Popular Worker's Union
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