Newly-elected head of Egypt's Dostour Party invited to national dialogue

Gamal Essam El-Din , Wednesday 27 Jul 2022

Gamila Ismail, the newly-elected chair of Egypt’s liberal Dostour (the Constitution) Party, has received an official invitation to participate in the national dialogue proposed by Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who has asked for drawing up a new political roadmap for the country.

Gamila Ismail
Newly-elected chair of the liberal El-Dostour (the constitution) party, Gamila Ismail


"Upon this invitation, Ismail decided to form a committee to prepare the Dostour Party's vision and proposals for the national dialogue's agenda," Walid Omari, the party's official spokesperson, said on Wednesday.

A letter sent by Rasha Ragheb, the executive director of the National Academy for Training (NAT), the entity in charge of organising the El-Sisi administration's proposed national dialogue, told Ismail that "we welcome your election of the Dostour Party and we invite you to present your vision on President El-Sisi's proposed national dialogue within one week, including how to implement this vision."

Gamila Ismail was declared on 22 July the new head of the Dostour Party after she won 318 votes versus rival candidate Khaled Dawoud, who received 192 votes.

This is the fourth time the Dostour Party has elected a new chair since it was founded in 2012 by Mohamed El-Baradie, the former director of the International Energy Atomic Agency and Egypt's former vice president in 2012.

Ismail said in a TV interview on 23 July that "the election of the Dostour Party's new head was held at the headquarters of the Al-Karama (Dignity) leftist party as we do not have an office or headquarters."

"Our priority on the national dialogue is to exert pressure until all political detainees are released," said Ismail, adding that "we hope there will be a greater political openness in Egypt in the coming period because there is no progress without political openness.”

The Egyptian National Dialogue’s Board of Trustees held two meetings, the first on 5 July and the latest on 19 July.

"The last few years were very desolate in political terms and all those exercising politics were subject to assaults, but we still have a high and daring spirit," said Ismail.

Ismail, a TV presenter and the daughter of former TV director Farida Irman, is the former wife of high-profile political activist and 2005 presidential candidate Ayman Nour.

Ismail and Nour married in 1989 and have two children, Nour and Shadi. In 2005 they participated in forming the liberal El-Ghad (Tomorrow) Party.

Nour was convicted of "forgery charges" and sentenced in December 2005 to five years in prison. After Nour was released in 2009, he and Ismail divorced. After the 2013 anti-Muslim Brotherhood revolution, Nour left for Turkey where he set up the opposition El-Sharq channel, while Ismail decided to join the Dostour Party.

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