Sami Fattouh, former secretary of the dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP) for more than five years and member of the 2010 People's Assembly, is the top candidate on the Egyptian Bloc's list in the first district of Menoufiya. Fattouh had been the target of Facebook and Menoufiya's Revolutionary Youth Coalition campaigns seeking to scratch the Menoufiya ex-NDP of the Bloc's list. To avoid any association with ex-NDPs, the Free Egyptians Party issued, two days before the second round of elections, a statement offering sincere apologies to Menoufiya locals for their inappropriate choice of candidate to head their list in the first district, including areas of Shebeen El-Kome, Qwessna, Berkit Al-Sabe, Tela, and Al-Shohada. In their statement, the Party said they had confirmed that Fattouh was a supporter of the disbanded NDP despite his resignation from the Party in addition to working against the January 25th revolution. In its statement, the Free Egyptians Party also confirmed having removed Sami Fattouh from its list in the Qwessna district in Menoufiya but kept the rest of its list unchanged.
Attempts to salvage the situation
Dr. Omar Atteyyah, former coordinator of the Free Egyptians Party in Menoufiya, confirmed his resignation as a gesture of apology for having chosen Fattouh. Atteyyah pointed out that their choice of the former NDP secretary in Qwessna city was based on his popularity, apparent in his success as an independent against the NDP in the last parliamentary elections. Fattouh was also supposedly frowned-upon in NDP due to his opposition to Ahmed Ezz's policies. After his success as an independent, Fattouh received an offer to rejoin the NDP, which he rejected. "The Free Egyptians Party was not opposed to approving memberships of ex-NDPs, due to its weak popularity on the street and Naguib Sawiris' irresponsible behavior," said Atteyah, "As for Sami Fattouh, the Party was well aware of his former position as secretary of the dissolved NDP in Qwessna and we have documents to prove that he resigned in 2010 before the revolution began."
The poll station: scratching Fattouh is not legally correct
In spite of confirmation through those in charge of the party's Menoufiya office that Fattouh was scratched from the list, judge Sami Eid, supervisor of the poll station in Menoufiya had a different opinion. "Contrary to what is circulating on the street, up until one day before the run-offs, no one from the Bloc has submitted any requests to withdraw or scratch Sami Fattouh from the list." Eid said candidates can only be withdrawn from lists through express rulings by the Administrative Court. "At this time, the Bloc legally will not be able to withdraw Sami Fattouh."
Observers and political forces varied in their reactions to the crisis which befell the Bloc's list. Some saw value in the apologies that were offered and the intention of withdrawing the candidate. Even if these measures were not practically feasible, they considered these procedures the most that can be done at this time. Others accused the Bloc of providing false facts and playing with the minds of Menoufiyans, especially with the notorious candidate challenging his party's decision to sideline him, resuming his campaign throughout the villages of the governorate, and declaring to media outlets that he is "continuing to run in spite of the party's leadership."