CAIRO: Political group Al-Wasat applied to be recognized as an official party at the Shoura Council’s political parties committee.
This is the fourth time the group applies for official party status.
This is the fruit of a long struggle with the political parties committee, Aboul Ela Madi, the party’s elected chairperson and founder, told Daily News Egypt after a press conference Monday.
According to a statement, this is the fourth time in 13 years that Al-Wasat applies at the political parties committee. Previous attempts date back to January 1996, June 1998 and May 2004.
Madi is optimistic that the party will be recognized this time, adding that he implemented the amendments the committee suggested in 2004.
When we applied at the committee in 2004, we were 200 members and the new law stipulated a minimum of 1,000 members for any party to be formed, Madi said.
The group now comprises of 1,200 members in 25 governorates, he said.
This was our only obstacle, he added.
The political parties committee is expected to make its decision in three and a half months, according to its bylaws.
Madi said if the committee doesn’t respond, they will consider their party approved.
According to a press statement, the party will include 359 women, or 30 percent of members.
The party will also have a high committee comprising of 23 members, mostly university professors, engineers and lawyers, as well as former parliament members, the most prominent of which is Mohamed Abdel Latif, president of the Arab Publishers Union.
The party’s agenda emphasized the importance of citizenship and equality between men and women in holding all positions.
The party s program for political development also allows women to run for president. It also calls for legalizing peaceful protests.
The program also called for reducing the presidential term to only four years, allowing the president to only run for two terms.
Canceling the emergency law – except during war – is also on the party’s program, as well as putting an end to political arrests.