• 13:29
  • Sunday ,17 April 2011

Egypt court dissolves former ruling party

By-Ashraf Madbouli-EG

Home News


Sunday ,17 April 2011

Egypt court dissolves former ruling party
CAIRO (Update) - Saturday Egypt's Higher Administrative Court ordered the dissolution of the previously ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), meeting one major demand of the protesters, after the detention of ailing former President Hosni Mubarak and key figures of his regime.

"The NDP is dissolved and its assets, including its offices in Cairo and all Governorates, will be returned to the State," declared Judge Magdi el-Agatti. He added that the Sate authority to which the NDP's assets should be delivered would be specified by the Government.

       Nabil Luqa Bebawi, a spokesman for the NDP, said his party would appeal against the court ruling. 
       "The NDP respects court rulings. However, we will appeal against the dissolution," Bebawi said, although legal experts said the Higher Administrative Court ruling could not be contested. 
       He added that the party had begun to purge itself. "Honest NDP members should have a chance to practice politics," Bebawi said. According to him, properties and funds of the party amounted to LE200 million.   
      The courtroom was in chaos during the session, as supporters of claimants Moustafa Bakri, a former lawmaker and Ahmed el-Fadali, the chief of Al-Sallam Party, chanted slogans against the NDP. 
     "Void … void," chanted anti-NDP people, and the new NDP chief Talaat el-Sadat, a nephew of late President Anwar el-Sadat, chanted in response: "The NDP will never die".  El-Sadat's supporters also held photos of Bakri kissing the hand of Gamal Mubarak, the son of the former president, accusing him of being part of the former regime. 
     Some young revolutionaries backed the claim to dissolve the NDP in the courtroom and outside, stressing that a party that corrupted the political life in Egypt for over 30 years did not deserve to continue. 
      The NDP dominated Egyptian politics since it was set up by Mubarak's predecessor el-Sadat in 1978. The party's headquarters in Cairo were torched during the protests that led Mubarak to step down on February 11.
      Talaat el-Sadat, chosen as the party’s leader last week despite not being a member, changed the party’s name to ‘New National Party’ and pledged restructuring and to purge it from all corrupt members.
      "The NDP is feared by most political groups. Its dissolution has a political rather than legal dimension," el-Sadat said. "However, we will never give up".
      Dissolving the NDP was a major demand of the protesters, fearing that even after the detention of Mubarak and most of his cronies, remnants of the party could still try to hold on to power in the country.
      Diaa Rashwan, a political analyst, said the dissolution was a good move for political life in Egypt, urging Sadat to form a brand-new party, in case he wanted to play politics.
     "Let's get rid of the party that damaged Egypt so badly," Rashwan told The Egyptian Gazette. "The door is now open for new parties, and el-Sadat can start one. I wonder why he insists on maintaining the old frame," he added.
     Rashwan pointed out that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces proved day in day out that it was backing the demands of the revolution "by not intervening in judicial procedures." 
     The dissolution came only days after Mubarak and his sons were detained, pending further investigation on allegations of corruption and involvement in the killing of protesters.