Former Arab League head Amr Moussa establishes Egyptian Conference Party

Ahram Online, Tuesday 18 Sep 2012

Twenty-five political parties, including liberals, leftists and remnants of Mubarak regime, unite to form new party under the leadership of former foreign minister and 2012 presidential candidate Amr Moussa

Amr Moussa
Amr Moussa on the campaign trail during the presidential race in 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

The Egyptian Conference Party was formed in Cairo on Monday with 25 political parties coming together under the leadership of former Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa.

"The initiative aims to magnifying the influence of the 25 parties, and give a voice to the people who support these parties," Moussa said at the party's launch on Monday.

Moussa, who came fifth in Egypt's post-revolution presidential election, added that one of the main concerns of the party was to promote "moderate options that represent the majority of Egyptians and to preserve the civil identity of Egypt."

The Egyptian Conference Party consists of 25 parties and movements representing a spectrum of political ideologies, including a number of prominent parties such as the Democratic Front Party and Ghad El-Thawra Party.

It also contains a large number of offshoots of Hosni Mubarak's now-defunct National Democratic Party, such as the Conservatives Party, the Freedom Party and the Egyptian Citizen Party.

Also in the newly formed party are: the Egyptian Arabic Socialist Party, the El-Geel Democratic Party, the Social Peace Party, the Reform and Building Party, the Sufi Egyptian, the Tahrir Party, Masr El-Fatah, the Egyptian Arabic Union, the Revolution's Guards, the Thawra Party, Arab for Justice and Equality, the Social Justice Party, Al-Tali'a Al-Arabiya Party, Al-Wai'e Party, the Revolution Youth Union, Amr Moussa's presidential campaign team, El-Khodr Party and Al-Mustikloon Al-Goded.

Ayman Nour, the president of Ghad Al-Thawra Party, stressed that the Egyptian Conference Party was neither an alliance nor a temporary electoral coalition, but rather an permanent integration of parties.

"We oppose the hegemony of one current over political life in Egypt. The revolution erupted to establish a civil democratic system," Nour said at the party's launch on Monday.

More parties plan to join them, he claimed.

Nour stressed that the party was not directed against a particular force, but was established to satisfy the public's demand for civil forces to unite under one umbrella.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood's Hassan El-Brens welcomed the initiative but pointed out that "if parties with a leftist agenda merge with parties with a liberal capitalist agenda, they need to announce a clear programme to explain their new policies."

"I hope partisan coalitions are forming based on specific projects and clear programmes, not only to win seats in parliament," El-Brens said via Twitter.  

"What if they were divided after the election results? Whose programme would they apply?"  El-Brens asked.

Initiatives to counter the Islamist domination of political life in Egypt have long been on the agenda of liberals and advocates of a civil state.

Reform campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei's Constitution Party was legally recognised this week.

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