President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP), which controls the majority of seats in parliament, opposes amending the Constitution. Opposition figures, including Mohamed ElBaradei, have called for amendments to permit open elections.
"The amendments introduced in 2005 and 2007 are sufficient and have satisfied the demands of the public," said NDP spokesperson Alieddin Helal at a seminar yesterday organized by Citizens for Developement.
"All the talk about the regime not respecting political life is no longer acceptable," Helal added.
Mohamed ElBaradei, the former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has galvanized Egypt’s opposition by suggesting that he would run for president if elections are free and fair. ElBaradei has publicly called for changes to the Constitution that would open presidential elections to more candidates.
The NDP welcomes ElBaradei’s candidacy, Helal said, provided that he runs in the election according to the rules.
Helal advised ElBaradei to either join a political party before August or to work on gathering the signatures of 250 local and parliamentary officials to run independantly.
Article 76 of the Constitution stipulates that presidential candidates must have a senior leadership position in a legal party. Citizens without a legal party affiliation must obtain approval from the NDP-dominated parliament.
Helal said Egyptians should not elect someone who doesn’t serve the people.
"Go to the party headquarters and report the names of current MPs who don’t serve you because serving the people and communicating with them are the basis of political work," he said.
"Politics isn’t about shouting slogans or formulating impractical theories."
Helal said the NDP has cooperated with the Wafd, Tagammu, Nasserist and the Democratic Front parties as well as other opposition groups to solve various problems, pointing out that his party used proposals by the leftist Tagammu Party in recent health insurance legislation.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.