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Committee recognizes new Al-Wafd Party head - Daily News Egypt

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Committee recognizes new Al-Wafd Party head

CAIRO: A committee that oversees Egypt s political parties on Monday recognized the new leader of the opposition Al-Wafd Party whose previous ousted head was held for questioning after storming the party s offices. Rival Al-Wafd Party leaders sacked Noman Gomaa in January but he rejected the decision and on Saturday stormed the party offices …


CAIRO: A committee that oversees Egypt s political parties on Monday recognized the new leader of the opposition Al-Wafd Party whose previous ousted head was held for questioning after storming the party s offices. Rival Al-Wafd Party leaders sacked Noman Gomaa in January but he rejected the decision and on Saturday stormed the party offices with his supporters. Eight people were shot and wounded and some 20 others were hurt. The authorities on Sunday ordered Gomaa and 14 of his supporters to be held for four days of questioning on suspicion of crimes including attempted murder and possession of firearms. Gomaa says he went to the offices to work and was forced to defend himself when attacked. The courts had upheld his right to enter the party offices. Gomaa came in a distant third to President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt s first multi-candidate presidential election last September. Al-Wafd has not made a significant impact on Egyptian politics. Since sacking him, other Al-Wafd leaders called a general assembly that picked Mustapha Al-Taweel as party leader. The committee has decided to deal with Mustapha Al-Taweel as the head of the Al-Wafd Party because he was chosen for that position on Feb. 10 by the general assembly of the party, the Committee for Political Parties Affairs said in a statement. The committee has a major influence over political life in Egypt by granting licenses to parties and sometimes freezing those it considers to be in a leadership crisis. The committee expressed its sadness at the latest events at the Al-Wafd Party s headquarters and hopes that all sides of this distinguished party overcome personal ambitions and strengthen efforts to secure the party, the statement said. The Al-Wafd Party traces its roots to an unofficial delegation that lobbied for independence from Britain in 1919. The delegation dominated the country s politics until army officers who took power in the 1952 revolution banned political parties. Al-Wafd was revived in the 1970s but like other secular parties has little influence on government policy. Reuters

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