Parliamentary Elections Monitor

Note: This is an archived project; no significant changes have been made since parliament was seated in January 2016.

Nation’s Future Party (Hizb Mostaqbal Watan)

October 27, 2015 . By TIMEP

Participating

Overview

The Nation’s Future Party has risen to prominence based on the successful campaign of its young leader, Muhammad Badran. Founded a little more than a year ago, the party has tied itself to President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi, who features prominently in their campaign materials and whom the party supports nearly unequivocally.  

The party—variously translated as Future of the Nation, Future of the Homeland, and other names—contested 173 total individual seats in this election. Nation’s Future ran 88 individual candidate seats in the first phase, with at least one in every province except Matruh, and five on the “For the Love of Egypt” lists (three in Upper Egypt and one in West Delta). The party won 23 of the individual seats they contested and all its list seats, making it the second-winningest party in the first phase of the elections.

After studying their first round mistakes and fielding 85 individual and 6 list candidates, the Nation’s Future Party did not appreciably increase their overall winning percentage. It captured 20 individual seats in the second phase and six on the “For the Love of Egypt” lists (five in Cairo and one in East Delta). This gave them 53 members of parliament, the second-highest number of any party.

The party has also decided to join the majority, pro-regime Coalition in Support of Egypt. Early disputes over the party’s lack of prominence in the coalition caused them to announce a withdrawal, but the two sides later reconciled.

Background

The Nation’s Future Party began in November 2013 as a youth campaign aimed at supporting the political roadmap after the ouster of Muhammad Morsi, and refocused their energies toward campaigning for Sisi in his bid for president several months later. Following their relative success in this endeavor, the group, headed by noted anti-Muslim Brotherhood figure and Egyptian Student Union President Muhammad Badran, officially registered their campaign as a party on July 22, 2014. Other party founders include Ashraf Abdel Hamid, Mu’mina Mustafa, Muhammad Fatahi, Ahmed Naguib, Muhammad Aboul Khair, Sayyid Nour al-Din, Aboul Wafa Fayaz Aboul Wafa, Hisham Mustafa, Ahmed Karam Ahmed, and Ahmed Mubarak Muhammad.

Despite Nation’s Future’s beginnings as a youth movement and self-characterization as a party of the youth, many of the candidates running in these elections under their banner are older, experienced public figures. Several of them are also former members of the National Democratic Party, the now-disbanded party of Hosni Mubarak. According to the group’s leaders, this older generation has been included in a youth party as a self-conscious effort to educate and prepare the party’s younger members before power is handed over to them.

Muhammad Badran, the party’s 24-year-old president, says the group is funded by a number of Egyptian businessmen. These financiers include steel manufacturer Ahmed Abu Hashima, Mubarak-era real estate tycoon Farag Umar, restauranteur Mansour Amar, and Hani Abu Rida, president of the African Football Confederation.

Stances

The Nation’s Future Party supported the post-Morsi political roadmap as well as Sisi’s presidential bid, and the party continues to take a strong position in support of the current president, even using his image on campaign materials. Muhammad Badran, the head of the party, has agreed with virtually all Sisi’s decisions as president.

Badran has also said that he believes that the Egyptian political parties should focus not on political ideology but instead on fixing fundamental economic issues such as poverty. Members of the party have echoed this position, saying that protecting the nation will be their priority in parliament.

Party Relations

In February 2015, Nation’s Future joined the “For the Love of Egypt” coalition that was developed and coordinated by Sameh Seif al-Yazal. The party’s high representation on that electoral list (running for seats in numbers comparable to more established parties like the Wafd and Free Egyptians Parties) and praise from coalition leader Seif al-Yazal indicate the party’s close ties with the list’s leadership. Party leader Muhammad Badran also seems to have close ties with President Sisi himself, and he was one of the select few to accompany the president during the inauguration of the Suez Canal expansion.

The party’s rapid rise to prominence has attracted members from other parties in Egypt. Marwan Younes, a former leader in Ahmed Shafiq’s National Movement Party and part of Sisi’s campaign team, is now running for a seat in Cairo under the Nation’s Future banner.

Internal Organization

While party leader Muhammad Badran is the most active force in Nation’s Future, regularly attending conferences for candidates’ individual campaigns, the party has widespread leadership presence, with party secretaries in respective provinces. The Nation’s Future Party has a leadership council, similar to many of its counterparts. The party also has a strong network of volunteer support, with many students from Badran’s prior campaign efforts staying on to promote the party.

Leadership

Twenty-four-year-old Muhammad Badran is the leader of the Nation’s Future Party, and claims to be the youngest party president in Egypt’s history. Badran founded the party a little over a year ago, after being chosen as the student representative on the 50-member committee responsible for rewriting the constitution following the ouster of Muhammad Morsi. Badran was previously the president of the Egyptian Student Union, running for that post independently and defeating the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated candidate Mustafa Mounir al-Bahi.