Political Parties in Egypt

The real beginning of founding Egyptian Parties goes back to 1907 as the National Party was funded by the Egyptian Leader Moustafa Kamel, which was a motive for the foundation of other parties contributing in the national liberation case like Al Omma Party founded by Ahmed Lotfy El Sayed.

Then Al Wafd Party appeared as a public movement in the beginning aiming to support the Egyptian group chosen as representatives of the Egyptian people to negotiate with the occupier to achieve evacuation.

Afterwards tens of small parties were founded successively, most of which were secessions from main parties and most of them were not bigger than a newspaper with a party president. Among these parties is the Reformation Party founded by Sheikh Aly Youssef that issued al Mo’ayed Newspaper, Nobles Party, Constitutional Party, Free National Party and the Egyptian Party, while there were the Sadeya Front Parties, the Constitutional Liberals party and other secession parties from Al Wafd Party.

A new phase of the partisanship began in Egypt and was as a dissolving operation and disengagement between those parties that became one formation after the eruption of July Revolution and the issuance of parties dissolution on January 16th 1953 which the revolution regarded as a main reason behind the stay of occupation and that most of them were described as an agent to occupation or supporting the palace.

The next phase then followed of the Partisanship movement history in Egypt, which is the phase we are currently living in its events and progressions which is described as the return to multiplicity as the late President Anwar El Sadat tried to convert from the one-party policy to the political openness and multiple parties.

In August 1974, President El Sadat issued the Socialist Union progression document, in which he called for the reconsideration of the regulation and aim of the Union. In July, the third general national convention for the Social Union was held and resolved its rejection to multiplicity of parties and approved the multiplicity of directions inside one party, which was then called pulpits and reached the number of 40 pulpits.

In March 1976, the formation of three pulpits representing the rightist social liberals and the leftist national unionist front and the middle which is the Arab Socialist Formation of Egypt. In November 1976 a resolution converting these pulpits to political parties was issued, and in June 1977 a law regulating the parties was issued stating the conversion to the multiple system without the cancellation of the Socialist Union which was granted many authorities, among which the approval to form new parties by the seventh Article of the Parties Law before the amendment of 1981. President Al Sadat followed these procedures by forming a new party called the National Democratic Party and called through such party the members of the Egyptian Socialist Party to join and preside it.

President Anwar EL Sadat in 1981 before his death, made an amendment to the Parties Law allowing the Parties Affairs Committee, which was formed by virtue of Law 40 of 1977 and presided by the president of Shoura Council and members of the ministries of internal affairs and justice and parliament affairs and three former judges, to approve the requests to form new parties.

Uniqueness is a condition to form any party, which means the necessity that the applying party program must include different matters than those of the existing parties, and the principles, aims, programs and policies of the party must be in conformity with the concepts of Islamic Shari’a and the concepts of the revolutions of 1952 and 1971 and the requirements to maintain the socialist and  democratic regime and the socialist gains. Parties formed on class, religion, or reviving political parties that were dissolved in 1952, are restricted.

Prior to the Revolution of January 25th, there were 24 legal political parties but most of them were not more than a location and a newspaper (if any), due to the absence of real democracy in Egypt. However, after the revolution, several political bodies announced its formation of new political parties, and only one party has been formed to date, whereby the number of parties in Egypt to date is 25 and expected to increase successively within the  coming days.

Legal parties before the Revolution of January 25th, 2011

1- Arab Socialist Party of Egypt: founded in 1976, its present president of Wahid Fakhry Al Aksory, re-announced on September 27th, 1992, its aim to maintaining the achievements of July 23rd Revolution especially the  constitution, and follows the socialism concepts calling for justice and equality among all.

2- Socialist Liberals Party: its current president is Helmy Salem, founded in 1976 as a political pulpit, transformed into a political party under the name of Socialist Liberals Party in 1977 as one of three Egyptian parties after the comeback of partisanship life (Assembly Party “Leftist” – Egypt Party “middle” – Liberal Party “rightist”) – presided by the late Mostafa Kamel Mourad (one of the liberal officers), issued the first opposing newspaper in Egypt (Al Ahrar Newspaper) in 1977, has locations all over the republic, owns 12 daily, weekly and monthly newspapers “Al Ahrar – Al Hakika – Afak Arabeya – Al Mowagaha – Hadith Al Madina – Al Aamel Al Masry – Al Akhbar Al Zeraeeya – Akhbar Al Saeed – Al Madina Al Horra – Al Zamalkaweya – Al Nour – Akhbar Al Sabah).

3- The Unionist Progressive National Gathering Party: founded in 1976, current president Dr. Refaat El Saeed, one of the most distinctive Egyptian leftist parties, founded over a group of leftists in general namely the socialist, communists, nasserists, nationalists and a number of liberalists. However, the communists were the heart of the group calling for the formation of the party. Khaled Mohey El Din is considered the founder and historic leader of the party, and its members are estimated at a number of 22000, and it issues Al Ahaly Newspaper.

4- National Democratic Party: the party that was governing the country, founded in 1978 by President Anwar El Sadat after the dissolution of the Arab Socialist Party. On August 7th, 1978, the secretariat of the party convened and agreed to call it the National Democratic Party and it was presided by President Al Sadat until his assassination in 1981. Since 1981 the party was presided by President Hosny Mubarak until his relinquishment on February 11th, 2011, the general secretary was Safwat El Sherif, the member has 1,900,000 members and issued Al Watany Al Youm Newspaper.

The elections of the People’s Assembly in 2010 witnessed several challenges to its validity which is still subject to the consideration of the judicial system. However, the doubts that the national party forged the elections led to more internal congestion in Egypt which erupted in the Day of Anger on January 25th, 2011, and the angry groups burned several locations of the party ending with its headquarters in Cairo on the evening of January 28th, announcing the juristic fall of the party in the middle of a huge relief between the protesting groups in the streets against the policies of the party which they called false and dishonest and the official dismissal of the government represented by the senior members of the party was announced.

5- The New Wafd Party: founded in 1978, current president Dr. El Sayed Badawy Shehata, an Egyptian liberalist political party, considered an extension to the old Wafd Party which was the governing party in Egypt before the 1952 Revolution which changed the governing regime in Egypt from monarchy to republican, the revolution in January 1953 cancelled the Egyptian political parties and dissolved all existing parties including Al Wafd Party. The party did not go back to its political activity except in 1978 by Fouad Serag El Din during the era of President Al Sadat after he allowed the multiplicity of parties and party used the name “New Wafd”. The party aims to achieve several concepts, the most of important of which is political economical and social reform in Egypt, supporting democracy, protecting human rights, supporting the role of youth and mantling the national unity among Egyptians.

6- Al Omma Party: founded in 1982, current president Yaeesh Abou Regeaa, adopts the socialist ideology or the so called “socialist democracy” and adopts the the Islamic Shari’a as a main source or legislation. The party also calls for the efforts to realize peace with Israel.

7- Egypt Green Party: founded in 1990, current president is Abdel Moneim Aly Al Aasar, established by a decree of the Supreme Constitutional Court as its program “Al Wasla” represents a new insight in the Egyptian political work which represents the

8- Democratic Union Party: established in 1990.

9- Arab Democratic Nassiry Party :  the official party expressing the national Nassiry mainstream  in Egypt, the party was founded by virtue of the decree of Supreme Administrative Court on April 19, 1992 after the rejection of the Parties Committee of the Egyptian Shura Council to approve the issuance of a license for this party.

10- Party of Social Solidarity: Founded in 1995, and its current President is Dr. Osama Shaltout, a political party that aims to achieve compassion based on economic strength and power of right, in addition to the free flow of information and non-suppression thereof, preventing the despot of funds of Egyptian in foreign banks abroad except by certain conditions of the law, the interdependence of Egyptians among each other and the agreement of their interests, the political agenda of the party is to rule by the people itself, the eligibility of every citizen to run for President of the Republic and be chosen based on the direct election of the people, and the direct election of the people of the Vice President of the Republic separately, the party adopts individual elections and refuses election by lists.

11- Accord Party National: Founded in 2000,  its current President is Dr. Refaat Al Agroudy,  the Party seeks to achieve a healthy democracy through social justice and free speech away from terrorism, violence, bloody conflict and capitalist control , and supports the freedom of the homeland and citizens, equality and public freedoms, especially the right of citizens to  establish civil society organizations, including political parties.

12- Egypt 2000 Party: Founded in 2001,  its current President is Dr. Fawzi Ghazal, principles of the party are , popular full partnership in decision-making, and confronting people with all  facts, and overall development in all areas, and strengthening Egypt’s relations with all countries of the world.

13- Democratic Generation Party : Founded in 2002,  its current President is Naji Al-Shihabi, with a membership of 11,249 members,  the party has 16 locations in many Egyptian cities, namely Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Al Mahalla, Minya, Sohag, Tanta, Zagazig, Kafr El-Sheikh, Ismailia, and Qalyubia.

14- Free Social Constitutional Party: Founded in 2004, its current President is Mamdouh Al Kenawy, a liberal democratic civil party founded to advocate for the consolidation and enhancement of the Egyptian state on the basis of constitutional legitimacy and full democracy and the sovereignty of the law to ensure the rights, duties, freedoms and guarantees and not to derogate or prejudice  any of them and the absolute equality of citizenship rights between citizens to be all free citizens in a free country.

15- Al-Ghad Party: Founded in 2004, its current President is Eng. Moussa Mustafa Moussa, founded by Ayman Nour and a group of Egyptians opposed to the regime exceeding five thousand. Ayman Nour struggled for approval by the Parties Affairs Committee for the establishment of the Al Ghad party and succeeded, but was arrested in the case of counterfeit powers of attorney, which he was accused of by the Egyptian government at the time, the foreign pressure, especially the American,  led to the release of Ayman Nour.

16- Egypt Youth Party: Founded in 2005, its current President iis Ahmed Abdel-Hadi, the party aims to the strengthening of the role of Egyptian youth in national development and political affairs, and to develop laws to regulate population growth, and combat the effects of globalization, and promote economic integration among Arab countries, and promote speech and respect between different cultures, and conduct a comprehensive educational reform, and support scientific research, and implementation of environmental policies to mitigate the severity of desertification and water shortages.

17- Democratic Peace Party: Founded in 2005.

18- Conservatives Party: Founded in 2006, and its current president is Mostafa Abdel Aziz.

19- Liberal Republican Party: Founded in 2006 and its current president is Hossam Abdel Rahman.

20- Democratic Front Party: Founded in 2007, its current president is Dr. Osama Al Ghazali Harb, the party aims to engage the Egyptians in the political and partisanship life and after their reluctance to run for participation and seeks to combine these (silent majority) to its ranks, the Party seeks to establish a civil state with genuine democracy and refuses to be confused between religion and politics, so they were refusing to cooperate with the National Democratic Party, and recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as a political bloc of weight and deal with it as a banned group as it was called by the former regime.

21- Egyptian Wasat Party, headed by Abul-Ela Madi, a splinter of the Muslim Brotherhood has won a judgment allowing the foundation of the party in the wake of revolution of January 25 to become the first party to be declared after the revolution, it is an Egyptian political party with an Islamic reference, founded by a group of leaders of the student movement in the seventies and leaders of trade unions belonging to the Islamic trend, and most were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and then separated thereof in 1996 and proceeded to establish a political party with the name (Centre Party) which was rejected then resumed progress again in 1998 under the name of (Egyptian Wasat Party) which was also rejected, and then came the third attempt in 2004, which witnessed the accession of the Islamic thinker, the great Dr. Abdul Wahab Al Missiri and as usual the request was met with rejection by the Parties Affairs Committee, making which leads the founders to submit an appeal to the Court of Parties but the court ruling came as disappointing rejecting the party in addition to another 12 parties under the pretext that they do not meet the requirements of the establishment of a party according to the amendments made to the law on political parties, despite the submission of many of these parties requesting its establishment by the adoption of these amendments.

Parties frozen due to their conflicts on the presidency

22- Egyptian Labour Party: Founded in 1978, the cofounder is Ibrahim Shukri, and although it was agreed that Ibrahim Shukri shall be head of the party, the freezing of the party was not lifted. A party with Islamic orientation, and focuses on the Arab dimension, which witnessed “no contradiction” between Arabism and Islam, and Islam is the is the reference of the ruling in its direction and its programs, which elevates the profile of the issue of national independence, and refuses to dependency on what it calls the ” Zionist – American Alliance”, and believes in “liberation” of all occupied Arab and Muslim countries, especially Palestine and Iraq and Afghanistan.

Young Egypt Party (Misr AL Fatah): Founded in 1990, the cofounder is Ahmed Hassanein, and the interim President is Al Wasif Eid Al Wasif (a conflict for leadership of the party). Movement of Young Egypt is national political movement that began in October 12, 1933, led by Ahmed Hussein influenced by nationalist movements in that period, and remained for more than twenty years fighting colonialism and feudalism and capitalism and independent system corrupt rule giving up their lives and blood and freedoms and livelihoods in order to achieve what they believed in. The revolution of July 1952 was a continuation of the struggle of Young Egypt and the achievement of its objectives. Gamal Abdel Nasser was a member of the party and there was also Hassan Ibrahim, Anwar Al Sadat and Hussein El Shafei and other Free Officers. The July 1952 Revolution also chose some graduates of the school of Young Egypt, such as Fathi Nassar and Noordin Tawwaf as ministers in the first ministry it has.

24- Social Equity Party: Founded in 1993, the cofounder if Mohamed Abdel Aal and the interim president is Kamal Hussein (a conflict over presidency).

25- Democratic People Party: Founded in 1992, cofounder is Anwar Afifi, the party was activities in 2007, the current president is Ahmed El Gebeily, the party adopts the parliamentary democratic system and depends on Islamic Shari’a as a main source for legislation, and issues a newspaper under the name of Shaab Masr.

Parties under construction after the Revolution of January 25, 2011

1- Freedom and Equity Party: as Dr. Mohamed Badee’, the general leader of Mulsim Brethren, announced its formation on the 21st of February 2011 after days from President Mubarak’s retirement. The cofounder is Dr. Mohamed Saad Al Katatny, the president of the parliamentary front of Muslim Brethren in the People’s Assembly in 2005. The party is of Islamic concepts and adopts the Islamic political ideology and the Brethren announced that the party is open for Muslims and Christians.

2- Free Egypt Party: On February 23rd, 2011, Abduallah Al Ashaal – former Assistant to Minister of Interior Affairs – announced the foundation of a political party.

Parties and Powers unrecognized by the Egyptian Government before the Revolution of January 25th, 2011

– The Muslim Brotherhood headed by Mohamd Badee’. A group calling for a requesting the recourse to God’s legislation and life under Islam. It is a part of the worldwide Mulsim Brotherhood mainstream.

– Egyptian Communist Party a political Marxist – Leninist party founded in 1922, and works as a secret party since 1924 to date, and was re-established in 1975 after it was dissolved in the mid-sixties by a decision of the party leadership in the Nasser era detention, in which the periods of arrest of party cadres lasted to ten years for many of them, and after several efforts have been re-established in 1975 and its program and regulators were set out again.

– Revolutionist Socialists party

– Al Karama Party headed by Hamdein Sabbahi. A national Arab Egyptian Party under construction that participated in the April 6 strike.

– Reform and Development Party headed by Mohamed Anwar Esmat Al Sadat.

– Al Jemaah Islamiyah which has been converted from military activity to a charity community missionary Islamic militant, working for religion by calling to God and the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice and Islamic Jihad for the sake of God.  This organization was founded in Egypt in the early seventies of the twentieth century calling for “jihad” to hold ” Islamic state” as it sees it, and returning “Islam to Muslims” and then start to restart “the Islamic caliphate” anew, the group used fighting in Egypt against the symbols of power and the forces of the Egyptian security throughout the eighties and the intervals of the nineties, but after successive security strikes by the Egyptian Security , which included the arrest of most of its members and hit their bases, the group is not of any significant presence.

Takfir and Hijrah, calling itself the Muslim community and was led by Shukri Mustafa, an Egyptian group of political Islam embrace political Islam, emerged in the late sixties and spread in many countries and has its name was distinctive in 1977 where the Egyptian agricultural engineer Shukri Mustafa became leader of the group, and Shukri Mustafa was a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but he followed a more stringent course after the execution of Sayyid Qutb, and Muhammad Bouyeri who assassinated the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh on November 2, 2004, a member of Takfir and Hijra Group and the group called itself (Muslim community).

– Egypt Rescue Front, a Brethren organization working form London and its spokesman is Osama Roshdy.

The Liberal Party: an active liberal party chaired by Dr. Emad Saadallah and works from London, a secular political party and movement with historical roots in Egypt. The party sets off from previous attempts in the early twentieth century by Egyptian anti-colonial activists, to re-emphasize the ethnic Egyptian  identity.  It is based in part on the national independence and the delineation of the formal recognition of the national language of the local Egyptian dialect.  At the present time, the party also seeks to liberate Egypt from the control of Arab nationalism and calls for the separation of religion from politics and most of Civil Affairs.



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