New Leftist party being assembled in Egypt

Ahram Online and MENA , Saturday 26 Feb 2011

A meeting held on 26 February at the Syndicate of Commercial Professions is expected to result in the announcement of a new Leftist party

Ibrahim El-Eissawy, the party's preparatory committee coordinator, said " the new Leftist party is a product of the January 25 revolution and that all of the party's members have taken part in it one way or another". He added that "the preparatory phase will need more understanding between the members, especially considering they belong to different schools of thought and organisations".

If approved, the party would be the first official leftist party since Tagammu – widely accused of securing agreements with ex-president Hosni Mubarak's government – although several leftist organisations have been unofficially operating in Egypt. Currently, the most recognised leftist organisations include: the Egyptian Communist Party, the Revolutionary Socialists and the Socialist Renewal Current.

The new Left party is supposed to act as a platform for all interested leftist activists and operating leftist organisations.

The January 25 uprising encouraged many to build new parties in the hope that the political arena will open up and encourage increased political participation.

Prior to 25 January 2011, most parties were banned and often forced to operate unofficially as a result. On 19 February 2011, after Mubarak's ouster, the Supreme Administrative Court approved the establishment of the Wasat Party (Centre Party), which has been trying to secure an official licence for 15 years.

In the past, the parties' committee, part of the Shura Council and headed by the General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Party, was responsible for approving the formation of any proposed political party. However, since the January 25 uprising, new laws guiding political practice in Egypt are expected to be introduced.  

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