Commission denies Islamists permit to form electoral party

Ahram Online, Monday 19 Sep 2011

Egypt's political parties commission denies Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya a permit to form new party citing former terrorist activities and religious content

Tarek El-Zomor
Tarek Al-Zomor (Photo: Reuters)

The Political Parties Commission has refused Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya a permit to establish its own political party, El-Benaa wa El-Tanmia (Building and Development).

Al-Jamaa had unveiled its party at a press conference on 20 June, but now face legal obstacles that might prevent El-Benaa wa El-Tanmia from seeing the light of day.

The Political Parties Commission, whose decision has already been sent to the Supreme Administrative Court, said that some of the founders – Tarek Al-Zomor, Sawfat Abdel Ghani, Ashraf Tawfik and Shazli El-Sagir – are prohibited from practicing politics.

The committee also said El-Benaa wa El-Tanmia is a religious party, which is against the law.

Al-Jamaa used terrorist tactics during the eighties and nineties to accomplish its objectives. They are most infamous for assassinating president Anwar Sadat in 1981 during the commemoration ceremony of the 1973 victory over Israel in the 6 October War.

Mubarak's security forces eventually cracked hard on Al-Jamaa members, and their presence has been barely felt for over a decade.

In the aftermath of the January 25th revolution, Al-Jamaa eventually decided to enter electoral politics to take advantage of new democratic environment.

El-Benaa wa El-Tanmia was supposed to be the group's first step into democratic politics.

On the other hand, former president ofd Mubarak's NDP figure, Hossam Badrawi, received approval to establish a political party under the name of Misr El-Nahda (Egypt Renaissance).

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