Ahmed Tantawy: ‘We will work to build a strong dissenting national party’

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Ahmed Tantawy, the former MP and new president of Al-Karama Party, said that he hopes to turn an individual case of a young dissident politician in the current complicated political scene in Egypt into teamwork for building a strong party that will provide the chance for other qualified young politicians to make their contribution. “I hope we can present a platform that answers the questions of the present and poses a scientific and practical vision for the future so that we can present qualified candidates in elections,” said Tantawy in a TV interview with BBC Arabic.

Tantawy was elected to the presidency of Al-Karama on December 25, days after losing his seat in the parliament in controversial elections. Tantawy was a member of Al-Karama six years ago when he gained membership of the parliament as an independent candidate. After five years in the parliament, Tantawy became a popular figure because of his tight opposition against the pro-state majority in the parliament, especially in the concession of the Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia.

In the 2020 parliamentary elections, Tantawy won the first rank in the first phase, but he had to go into the run-off as he did not achieve an absolute majority. However, he was announced by the elections commission to be the fourth in the run-off, which conflicts with the documented results of Tantawy’s campaign. “I got more than 67,000 votes at the first rank, but I [said that] what had happened was a fault and demanded officials revise their faults,” Tantawy said about his loss. “Now, the issue is entirely before the court of cassation.”

Al-Karama Party was established in August 2011, after the January 25 Revolution, by the well-known dissenting politician Hamdeen Sabahi, as a centre-left party on the principles of Nasserism.