NDP unmoved by wide criticism

Dina Ezzat , Sunday 26 Dec 2010

Top figures of the ruling NDP continue to shrug off opposition criticism of their near total control of the incoming People's Assembly

Mubarak at NDP convention
President Hosni Mubarak waves as he attends the sessions of the 7th Annual Conference of the National Democratic Party in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec.25, 2010.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

"The National Democratic Party (NDP) refrains from political monopoly," President Hosni Mubarak, leader of the party that has ruled Egypt for three decades, said Saturday before the seventh annual party conference.

Mubarak's remarks came less than a week after his speech before a joint session of parliament where he mocked the opposition's attempt to establish a shadow parliament as "merely passing time".

Mubarak's statement on the first of three days of NDP meetings was echoed by a host of top party figures who celebrated the sweeping NDP majority secured during the 28 November legislative elections.

Today, during committee meetings to examine the government's programme of action for the next year, similar sentiments were also repeated. Participants, including cabinet ministers, insisted that the sweeping parliament majority — at 86 per cent — is a vote of confidence from the people in the NDP's commitment to "work for social justice and poverty elimination".

NDP Secretary General Safwat El-Sherif said that the party's conference would adopt detailed plans of action for the implementation of promises made during the parliamentary electoral campaign. "The massive public support granted to the NDP comes with a lot of responsibilities," El-Sherif said Sunday.

Meanwhile, NDP leaders speaking to reporters today and yesterday said that the party should use its sweeping control of seats in parliament to pass packages of legislation that could support the next phase of economic reform.

In his opening statement before the conference yesterday, President Mubarak reiterated firm commitment to his programme of economic reform. 

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