Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1271, (19-25 November 2015)
Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Issue 1271, (19-25 November 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Who are they?

Reem Leila profiles some of the candidates running in the second stage of the upcoming parliamentary elections

Tawfik Okasha
Tawfik Okasha
Al-Ahram Weekly

Tawfik Okasha

Tawfik Okasha is the owner and senior anchor of the controversial Al-Faraeen TV channel. Okasha was a member of parliament for the dismantled National Democratic Party (NDP). He is running for the Nabaroah district of Al-Daqahliya governorate. In March 2012, Okasha was found guilty of defamation and libel in a lawsuit filed after he insulted the mother of Egyptian torture victim Khaled Said, and was sentenced in absentia.

At Al-Faraeen, Okasha co-hosts “Egypt Today.” According to Egypt Independent, “Okasha claims that ‘Egypt Today’ was watched by more than 300 million viewers throughout the Arab world, a figure impossible to verify.” Okasha’s political opponents accuse him of using the show to “spread lies and fantasy” about them. In July 2012, a court ordered Al-Faraeen to shut down for 45 days.

On 22 October 2012, Okasha was convicted of insulting toppled president Mohamed Morsi and sentenced to a four-month jail term and fined LE100. Okasha remains free while appealing the sentence.

Hafez Abu Seada

Hafez Abu Seada is a prominent human rights activist and the chairman of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR), Egypt’s oldest human rights NGO. He is best known for his campaigns against torture and police brutality in Egypt. Abu Seada was born in 1965 in Cairo. He took part in the student movement of the 1980s against then-president Hosni Mubarak’s government and was detained several times.

After graduating from the Faculty of Law, he worked as a human rights lawyer and became involved in Egyptian civil society. Throughout his human rights career he has held many posts, including the presidency of EOHR. He was appointed to the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights and is a member of the International Federation for Human Rights, of which he was its envoy to the Arab League from 2004 to 2007.

He strongly opposed the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime and took part in the June 2013 uprising that led to the removal of president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013. Abu Seada is running in the Maadi electoral district as a candidate of the Conservative Party.

Ragab Helal Hemeida

Ragab Helal Hemeida is a former member of parliament who is running for Bab Al-Shaariya and Abdeen districts. Twelve candidates are competing in this constituency for one seat in parliament. Hemeida was convicted in the notorious Battle of the Camel during the 2011 Revolution, which saw 11 people killed. A court found him innocent.

Khaled Youssef

Khaled Youssef is a director and film writer. His films are noted for their use of improvisation and realism. Youssef, who has established a solid reputation as a successful filmmaker, does not shy away from controversial issues, including rape, political corruption and homosexuality. Despite attacks that his films promote immorality, Youssef has said he is fighting for values he believes are missing in Egyptian society.

Youssef was born in 1964 in Kafr Shokr, a village in the Delta. His father served as mayor, in addition to being secretary of the Socialist Union in Kafr Shokr, the only political organisation founded during the tenure of former president Gamal Abdel-Nasser. Youssef is running as an independent in Kafr Al-Sheikh district. He was a strong supporter of the 30 June mass protests that toppled former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Osama Al-Sheikh

Osama Al-Sheikh is a former head of the Radio and Television Union and current head of the satellite TV station Al-Nahar. Al-Sheikh is running in the Meet Ghamr district. He was accused in corruption cases after the 2011 Revolution and was sentenced to jail. After a retrial, he was found innocent.

Fouad Badrawi

Fouad Badrawi, former secretary-general of Al-Wafd Party, is running for the Nabaroah district of Al-Daqahliya governorate. Badrawi is the grandson of Fouad Serageddin, former head of Al-Wafd Party. Badrawi previously ran for the presidency of the party but lost.

Shahinaz Al-Naggar

Shahinaz Abdel-Azizi Al-Naggar is running in Al-Manial constituency. Al-Naggar, who was born in 1969, was the youngest parliamentary member when she entered in 2005.

Al-Naggar is the wife of tycoon businessman Ahmed Ezz, the former secretary-general of the dismantled National Democratic Party (NDP) and a member of the NDP’s all-important Political Committee. Al-Naggar, who inherited a fortune after the death of her father, became a businesswoman and is a partner in a hotel and tourist companies. Al-Naggar, who has a daughter, graduated from the American University in Cairo and went abroad to continue her studies.

Hani Sorour

Hani Sorour is a businessman and CEO of Hayedelena for Advanced Medical Industries Company (HAMIC). He was an MP in 2005 for Al-Azbakeya constituency. Sorour is running for the Bab Al-Shaerya and Al-Zaher constituencies.

Sorour was accused is the famous case known as the “blood bags”, in which his company was involved in selling 360,000 defective blood bags to the Ministry of Health and Population in 2008.

In 2010, Sorour was acquitted of the charge of manufacturing and distributing defective blood bags to public hospitals through HAMIC.

Hussein Megawer

Hussein Megawer, former head of the Egyptian Trade Union Federation, is a former MP and was a member of the now-defunct National Democratic Party. Megawer is running for Al-Maadi and Tora constituencies. He was an active member in parliament and defended the rights of Egyptian labourers.

The current head of the Egyptian Trade Union Federation, Gebali Al-Maraghi, has announced his full support for Megawer. “We will all vote for him in the upcoming elections,” said Al-Maraghi.

Megawer was among those accused of involvement in the Battle of the Camel during the 2011 Revolution. He was accused of inciting workers in Tahrir Square to attack activists and revolutionary youths. After a long trial, Megawer was acquitted.

Ihab Al-Omda    

Former MP Ihab Al-Omda was a member of the defunct National Democratic Party (NDP). He was accused in the 2011 Battle of the Camel for inciting deadly attacks on protestors in Tahrir Square on 2 and 3 February 2011. Months later, the Criminal Court found Al-Omda innocent of all charges. Al-Omda is running for Al-Sharabiya and Al-Zawya Al-Hamra constituencies.

Last month, the Administrative Court threw out a case filed against Al-Omda banning him from running.

Haidar Al-Baghdadi

An MP from 2005-2010, Haidar Al-Baghdadi was a member of the dismantled National Democratic Party (NDP). He is running for Al-Gamalia and Manshiet Nasser constituencies.

Al-Baghdadi has said he believes that former NDP members will “serve the people better” in the upcoming parliament due to their long years of experience in the political arena. “Not all members of the dissolved NDP were corrupt. I believe they will win 100 seats,” Al-Baghdadi said.

Al-Baghdadi was among those who supported the candidacy of former NDP secretary-general Ahmed Ezz in the elections. Ezz was jailed following the 2011 Revolution for financial corruption. After being released, Ezz attempted to run for parliament but his candidacy was rejected

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