Sunday, April 02, 2006

23 injured in Wafd clashes at party HQ

At 8 AM yesterday morning, the former Wafd leader Nouman Goumma, togheter with what probably was hired thugs managed to storm party headquarters in Dokki. Among the wounded are journalists and party workers, who where at the HQ early in the morning. According to witnesess, Goumma himself used the gun at some point. After a 1o hour standoff between rival factions the police managed to enter and arrest Goumma and six other people, and take him away in an armoured car.

The background to all this is the dethroneing of Goumma after the lousy election results in two elections during the last three months of 2005. His time as party leader after the death of ¨the Pasha¨ Party leader Foud Serrag Eddin in 2000 until January 2006 was marred by his dictatorial style of rulling. He got rid of talented and influential menbers of the party, like Yassin Serag Eddin, Ayman Nour, Farid Hassanein , Saif eddin Mahmoud, Mahmoud ash Shazli and Mounir Fakhri Abd al Nour.

In a sudden Change of heart he decided not to boycott the presidential elections, just days before the registration time ended. The result wasn´t what he had counted on, he got 3% and got less votes than his archrival Ayman Nour. The parliamentary elections was equally depressing with the Wafd winning only six seats. He´s a pragmatic politician , steering wafd into oblivion, at the same time as he´s not making any friends in the party, a really great achievment to put on your CV! I was rather optimistic when he became leader, hoping that a less charismatic leader would try to democratize the party from within.m To delegate work. I saw him as a caretaker , who had the potential to start a process of reformation, i was completely wrong, he was just another old fashioned politician.

Just some quick thoughts:

This is part of Opposition party politics, infighting is usual and this kind of thing that happend today has happend with other parties before, the SLP(Amal) fight over leadership in 1989 comes to my mind, when the socialist and islamist trend battled for leadership and the socialist faction leader Ahmed Megahed ocypied the party headqurters after having been couped at the party general assembly by Ibrahim Shukri and Adel Hussein. Another exammple would be the december 2002 attempt by Rageb Hemeida of the Liberal Party(al Ahram), one of 11 contenders for the position of partyleader, tried to sieze the party headquarters and newspaper. The unfortunate thing about this, besides people being hurt, is that it gives the party´s commission´an excuse to suspend the party license, or the party paper´s licensce(Safwat Sherif, who said that he lost any of his power? sitting as chairman on both committees, and being the SG of NDP). Most of these disputes could go on for ever in court, and if the court settles it , nobody can assure it´s implementation. This is some of the things that makes the already weak opposition extremley vulnerable. And Condi tells them , you have to create more parties...

It´s late, and i need to catch some sleep, so go read Elijah Zarwans excellent coverage about today, probably the best you can find , complete with great reporting and lots of photos.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ximo said...

This is not a conspiracy theory. The government is clearly plotting against every source of democratic life in Egypt. THey are supporting that asshole called Goma'a. This is the only party I respect in Egypt and the most popular after MB.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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11:27 AM  

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