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Sawiris calls on expelled members of Free Egyptians Party to attend press conference

Ahram Online , Tuesday 7 Feb 2017
Naguib Sawris
File Photo: Naguib Sawiris (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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The founder of the Free Egyptians Party, business tycoon Naguib Sawiris, will hold a press conference next week in solidary with party members who have recently been expelled for disagreeing with the party’s current leadership.
 
A statement by the party’s board of trustees which revealed Sawiris’ plans called on all current and former members who were prevented from renewing their membership to participate in the conference.
 
The press conference is scheduled for 14 February.
 
The Free Egyptians Party is the largest political party in the 596-member House of Representatives, with a total of 65 seats.
 
It is currently headed by Essam Khalil, who was elected as party leader last year.
 
In December, Sawiris, who cofounded the party in 2011, said he would take legal action against a decision by the general assembly of the party to change its bylaws.
 
The liberal-oriented party decided at its annual general assembly - in the absence of Sawiris - to eliminate the party’s board of trustees, among other changes to the party's bylaws.
 
“The general assembly’s meeting to amend the bylaws violates Article 59 of the bylaws themselves, which stipulate the board of trustees must approve any bylaw amendments,” the board of trustees said in its statement in December.
 
Describing it as a “coup”, the board of trustees added that it will pursue its legal rights via the party's internal mechanisms and also via the Egyptian legal system.
 
“The board of trustees declares its full rejection of this illegal coup by those who claim to be working for the interest of the country, without realising that Egypt’s main project at this stage is to fully complete the democratic transition,” read the board of trustees’ statement.
 
Sawiris, one of Egypt’s wealthiest men and a prominent public figure, publicly expressed his rejection of the assembly's decisions in a series of tweets.
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