Egypt govt to outlaw establishment of religion-based parties

The Egyptian government on Wednesday approved a proposed amendment to Law 40 of 1977, which regulates the foundation of political parties. The new law would allow parties to be established by notification, while preventing the establishment of parties based on religion.

Radical changes have been made to the law with regards to the Shura Council's Political Parties Affairs Committee (PAC). In the past, the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak controlled the establishment of parties through PAC, which was chaired by the head of the Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt’s parliament), the majority of whose members were members of the former ruling National Democratic Party.

During Mubarak's reign, the PAC succeeded in preventing political parties from conducting political activities and prevented the establishment of certain parties, such as the Wasat Party, for over 15 years.

Under the approved amendments, the PAC has become transformed into a judicial committee headed by the first deputy of the Court of Cassation and will include two deputies of the vice-president of the Council of State.

The amended law allows the creation of parties after a notification of establishment, signed by 1,000 founding members, is presented to the PAC. If the PAC has no objections, the party can begin exercising its political activities one month after submission of the notification.

The new party's founders will be obligated to publish their names in two widely circulated daily newspapers at their own expense within eight days of submitting the notification.

The law prohibits the establishment of parties based on religious or geographical grounds or based on discrimination between citizens on grounds of sex, origin, language, religion or creed.

The law also prohibits the establishment of parties affiliated with foreign parties and the organization of military or paramilitary units. It is also prohibited from receiving donations or funding from foreign persons. Parties can be self-funded through non-commercial activities, such as the publication of newspapers and newsletters, as long as their main goal is to serve the purposes and principles of the party.

Translated to the Arabic Edition

Related Articles

Back to top button