The Egyptian Court of Cassation’s Political Parties Affairs Committee on Monday rejected an application from former members of the dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP) seeking to establish a new political party.
The rejection was the first of its kind since the new law on political parties was issued in March. The decision will be reconsidered in eight days by the Supreme Administrative Court, which has the right to support or overrule it.
The application for the establishment of the Freedom Party was made by Moataz Mahmoud, a former member of the NDP Policies Secretariat. If the party is permitted on appeal, it will include among its founding members several former members of the NDP.
Egypt’s political groups recently called for legislation preventing former NDP members from engaging in politics for a certain period, fearing that they would seek to gain control of the next parliament.
Justifying its decision, the committee said that since annual party subscription fees are higher than those for ordinary members, only those with financial resources would be able to assume leading positions within the party.
Annual subscription fees for ordinary members are LE10, executive committee members LE1000, political bureau members LE1500, the organization secretary LE75,000, the secretary general and vice president LE100,000, and the president LE125,000.
The committee found the financial regulations to be in violation of the principle of equality and equal opportunity among party members.
Article IV of the law on political parties stipulates that a party’s program, activity and appointment of its leaders should not be biased in any way.