Egyptian court orders dissolution of former ruling party, clears the way to a more democratic parliament

Posted on | april 18, 2011 | No Comments

Picture from happier days of the NDP leaders. From left to right: Mubarak's son Gamal who groomed ambtions to follow in the footsteps of his father, Safwat el-Sherif, Ahmed Ezz, and Zakariya Azmi, Mubarak's bureau chief. The picture ois from 2007. All of them are in jail right now.

An Egyptian court, the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC), has ordered that the former ruling party of ex-president Mubarak, the National Democratic Party (NDP) be dissolved and its assets, be sequestrated. This includes including its central headquarters in Cairo and about 400 offices all over Egypt. The SAC order came after complaints by among others, Mostafa Bakri, editor of the weekly Al-Osbou, and was supported by SAC legal officers.

According to a report prepared by the SAC legal officers, the NDP violated t articles 4, 8, and 17 of the Political Parties Law enacted in 1977.” These articles state that political parties should call for democratisation and national unity, the NDP, however, opted to monopolise power, instill social disunity, spread political corruption and abuse of rights and freedoms enshrined in the 1971 Constitution.”

The SAC report also emphasised that the NDP disrupted the performance of rival political parties, using the State Security Investigations appartus as a tool to explode political forces from the inside and detain political opponents. Furthermore the NDP’s leaders exploited their positions to accumulate vast fortunes and created an illicit marriage with business tycoons who invaded the party’s ranks. Also the NDP’s senior leaders doubled as government officials and parliamentary heavyweights, thus disrupting the principle of separation among powers and causing the proliferation of favouritism and opportunism. And last njut not least the SAC report indicated that the NDP played a major role in spreading despotic practices and was heavily involved in rigging elections.

The SAC order comes at a moment that Mubarak and his two sons are in custody pending investigations into allegations of corruption and several other offences, together with all of Mubarak’s inner circle, like the presidents of the upper and lower chambers of parliament, Fathi Sorour and Safwat el-Sherif, the chief of Mubarak’s office, Zakariya Azmy, and several ministers and party bosses like the former minister of the interior Habib Adly, Ahmed Ezz and others.

The disbandment of the NDP and the arrest and prosecution of Mubarak and his allies were key demands of the Youth Coalition of the 25 January Revolution. The dissolution of the NDP is particlaurly important in view of the upcoming elections i the Fall of this year. As it was the NDP still represented an important power in the state with lots of money and therefor influence it was able to buy. Th fact that the party is now out of the way and will not participate in these elections, means that am importrant obstacle on the way to a different and real democratic Egypt has been taken away.

The SAC order also comes four days after Talaat El-Sadat, the nephew of late President Sadat, was appointed chairman of the NDP. It also comes after several NDP senior leaders, including the party’s secretary-general and leader of the old guard Safwat El-Sherif, Zakaria Azmi, the former chief of presidential staff and assistant secretary-general, and Ahmed Ezz, Gamal Mubarak’s right-hand man, steel magnate and secretary for organisational affairs, were remanded in custody on murder and corruption charges.

AUTHOR: Martin Hijmans
E-MAIL: m.hijmans [at]


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