CAIRO: Legal representative of the founders of Al-Islah Wal Tanmeya (Reform and Development) Party Anwar Essmat El-Sadat said he will only appeal the political parties committee’s decision, which denied his party’s licensing request, when root changes are made within the committee’s structure.
“I will propose freezing our right to appeal the committee’s decision in … [court] until real political change occurs and a solution is reached with regards to the political parties committee,” El-Sadat said in a statement released Monday.
On Sunday, the political parties committee headed by Safwat El-Sherif, who is also the Secretary General of the ruling National Democratic Party, refused the establishment of El-Sadat’s party after the committee examined the party’s proposed programs and regulations on Sunday.
“Political parties should be formed by notification, not through a decision reached by a committee headed by the ruling party’s secretary general,” the statement read, reiterating what El-Sadat told the committee during its meeting Sunday.
In Egypt, potential political parties must first receive an approval of their programs and regulations by this committee, which has the authority to issue of deny an official license. The political parties committee operates under the Shoura Council (the Upper House of Parliament), which is also headed by El-Sherif.
“There was no technical reason for their refusal,” El-Sadat told Daily News Egypt, criticizing the committee for representing both the government and the opposition.
He added that the refusal was not based on the program the party put forth, but that “true a opposition [party] is never granted an approval.”
In his statement, El-Sadat said that although he disagrees with the structure of the committee, he still pursued the legal means required for party formation in Egypt, “but it seems as if the government gives permission only to those loyal and trustworthy.”
“They grant permission to whoever does not challenge the interests of the ruling party, and not those who work for the general benefit of Egypt,” the statement continued.
El-Sadat said the committee’s refusal is a disappointment to Egyptian youth who are striving to bring about change.
“We will continue to work in the political stream within the legal framework, bearing in mind that the Egyptian street has faith in our party’s ideology,” it concluded.
The founding committee will soon announce whether or not they will appeal the decision.