Egypt's National Dialogue discusses eliminating political parties' hurdles

Ahram Online , Sunday 21 May 2023

Egypt's National Dialogue’s second session of the political axis kicked off on Sunday, with the Political Parties Committee addressing how to develop parties' activities and remove the hurdles facing them.

The second session of the Egyptian National Dialogue’s political axis held in Cairo on Sunday, 21 May, 2023. Photo courtesy of the official Facebook Page of the National Dialogue

The Political Parties Committee, which is holding two sessions on Sunday, discussed the financial and administrative governance within the parties, rules for the promotion and support of party activities, and the formation of the parties' committee.

During the session, Khaled Dawoud, assistant rapporteur of the committee, gave an opening speech in which he welcomed the National Dialogue as an opportunity to “express opinions and thoughts”.

“We call for a fair election law that guarantees integrity, freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of the media,” Dawoud said.

Dawoud also praised the recent pardons President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi offered prisoners of conscience and aspired to see more releases.

For his part, representative of the Republican People's Party Mohammed Abu Hemaylah announced his party’s “vision” to merge many political parties into a single entity, noting that though the country currently has 100 parties, only 13 of them are represented in parliament.  

Furthermore, Abu Hemaylah said that his party looks forward to applying “principles of financial and administrative governance through implementing internal democracy, away from recommendation, appointment and the requirement for an internal election mechanism.”  

Susan Nada, the representative of the Bread and Freedom Party, said that the current law governing party formation “hampers” political parties and their members.  

Furthermore, she called for allowing parties to establish themselves through the party committee's official pages, instead of advertising themselves through two official newspapers.

We hope the state financially supports political parties and implement tax deduction for party donors, Nada concluded.

For his part, Rapporteur of the National Dialogue Political Axis Alieddin Hilal stressed that the Egyptian constitution supports partisan pluralism.

We aim to strengthen the role of all parties, Hilal affirmed.               

On the other hand, Hassan Badrawi, former Deputy Justice Minister, stressed that countries should not interfere in party affairs under the pretext of governance.

Political parties that are not established based on democracy are not parties, Badrawi affirmed, adding that internal democracy within parties is a sine qua non for establishing political parties.

The first two sessions of the National Dialogue’s political axis kicked off last week.

During the first session, the Committee on Exercising Political Rights and Parliamentary Representation discussed the electoral system for the House of Representatives, whereas the Committee on Human Rights and Public Freedoms discussed eliminating all forms of discrimination.

The National Dialogue holds its sessions on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, with each day allocated to discussing one of the dialogue's three axes.    

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