Military council announces new party formation law

MENA, Monday 28 Mar 2011

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announces new law governing the formation of political parties in Egypt

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced new legislation today to oversee the formation of political parties in Egypt. The legislation will come into effect on Tuesday.

Major general Mamdouh Shahin, a member of the ruling military council, stressed that the law prohibits religious-based parties.

 “A judiciary committee will be formed to look into the procedures of launching parties and make sure all applicants fulfil the new terms,” Shahin told a press conference Monday.

 “One of these terms is that religious-based parties are inadmissible.”

However, the law shouldn’t be a stumbling block towards the political hopes of the Muslim Brotherhood as it enables the controversial opposition organisation to form a separate party.

To launch a political party, the applicants must send a request to the committee which in return should reply within 30 days.

Should the applicants receive no reply from the committee in that period, their party becomes legally accredited the next day.

Moreover, the legislation stipulates that each party must have 5,000 members from 10 different governorates, at least 300 from each.

It also prevents parties from picking their members based on religion or other discriminatory criteria such as sex, language or origins.

All parties have to make their purposes and source of funds clear.

The judiciary committee is to consist of seven members and be entitled to penalise or dismantle any party that is proven to be involved in illegal activities.

In the old regime, the committee responsible for allowing new parties to be launched was headed by the Shura Council chief, a member of the ruling party.

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