Egypt’s Nasserist Popular Current to become a political party

Ahram Online, Saturday 20 Sep 2014

The new political party will not be lead by current founder Hamdeen Sabahi

Hossam Moeness, one of Egypt's Popular Current Party founders, during press conference in Cairo on 20 September 2014. (Photo courtesy of the Popular Current official Twitter account)

Leftist movement the Popular Current announced on Saturday its intention to form a political party tailored towards young people, adding that the new party will not be led by the current’s founder, Hamdeen Sabahi.

“The goal of forming the party is that the youth will have a true opportunity to express themselves,” former health minister and party founding member Amr Helmy announced at the televised press conference held to announce the initiative.

The Popular Current was formed in September 2012 under the leadership of prominent leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi.

The founding members dismissed rumours that Sabahi, who ran in the presidential election that was won by Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi earlier this year, will lead the new political party.

Sabahi commented via Twitter: “All support to the youth of the Popular Current in building a strong party that portrays the revolution, adds to the democratic forces and seeks their unison. It’s time the youth take the leadership.”

The Popular Current has already started a campaign to gather signatures from those who want to join the new party.

Sabahi said at the time that the Popular Current was not formed to be a party, and asked members of other political parties to join the current.

However, the initial vision of the Popular Current has changed since then, and Helmy said that the decision to make the movement into a political party has been taken over a year ago.

A number of political figures attended the press conference including political activist George Ishak and Constitution Party spokesman Khaled Dawoud.

Also speaking at the conference was Salah Gaber, father of slain revolutionary figure Gaber Salah, commonly known as Jika.

Gaber called on President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to release political detainees who participated in the 25 January 2011 uprising.

He said that deposed president Mohamed Morsi, former Interim President Adly Mansour and El-Sisi all cried for the martyrs of the revolution but none have brought them justice.

Gaber added that those responsible for the killings of the youth still go unpunished, asking for the law to be applied.

Jika, a 16-year-old member of the April 6 Youth Movement, died from gunshot wounds to the head and chest during protests held in November 2012 to mark the first anniversary of violent clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud Street in central Cairo a year earlier.

Kamal Abu-Eta, a leading member of Al-Karama Party and former minister of labour power, spoke at the press conference saying that Egypt has over 102 political parties, but that active parties do not exceed a handful.

He said the Popular Current Party would act as a tool to fight authoritarianism in the future.

He expressed his wish for the new party to be a force of unity, looking for what’s common, instead of division. Abu-Eta encouraged the youth of the Popular Current Party to unite revolutionary forces that have become dissociated.


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