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Sayyid al Badawi
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Sayyid al-Badawi is the current chairman of the New Wafd party. Do you want to know about Sayyid al-Badawi?
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Who is Sayyid al Badawi?

Sayyid al-Badawi is the current chairman of the New Wafd party. He succeeded the party's former leader, Mahmoud Abaza, in internal elections held in May 2010 that were remarkably undisputed, given the Wafd's long legacy of leadership struggles. Al-Badawi, a 60-year-old prominent businessman, has stated that if he is unable to politically revive the party within 18 months, he will resign from his post.

Al-Badawi's bold rhetoric and ambitious pledge to restore the Wafd's historical stature have indeed helped reinvigorate the party. The chairman has stridently rejected the idea of dynastic succession in Egypt (in a departure from the language of his predecessor), led the opposition's call for amendments to the law governing the exercise of political rights as a means of ensuring the integrity of upcoming elections, and reached out to the Muslim Brotherhood to explore opportunities for cooperation. In addition, al-Badawi has recruited several popular public figures to join the party's ranks and increased the Wafd's overall membership since becoming chairman.

In addition to owning Hayat satellite channel and Sigma Pharmaceuticals, Sayyid al-Badawi became a joint owner of the independent daily newspaper al-Dostour in August 2010. Although al-Badawi initially promised not to infringe on al-Dostor’s editorial independence, a controversial decision to fire the newspaper’s chief editor, Ibrahim Eissa, was harshly criticized by Egyptian journalists and members of the opposition. Just prior to his dismissal in October 2010, Eissa reportedly had clashed with al-Dostour‘s publisher over an op-ed article submitted by Mohammed ElBaradei. When the publisher ordered Eissa to withhold the article from print, Eissa refused and was promptly fired. In the aftermath of the incident and although ElBaradei’s article was published in al-Dostour‘s one day after Eissa’s dissmissal, critics claimed that the dismissal was motivated by al-Badawi’s desire to suppress media coverage of Mohammed ElBaradei, whose support for an electoral boycott is at odds with the Wafd’s strong stance in favor of participation.

The Wafd has emerged as a principal opponent of the electoral boycott proposed by Mohammed ElBaradei. In September 2010, the party announced that it will participate in upcoming parliamentary elections, following a vote in its general assembly.

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Sayyid al Badawi