Saturday, January 06, 2007

The supreme administrative court turns down 12 parties appeal

The appeal of 12 would be political parties was turned down by the Supreme administrative court today. They had earlier applied for a political party license with the political parties committee(PPC), who turned them down.

This is the standard procedure for every political organization aiming for legalization ,or for that matter any political party that already have gained a party license in Egypt. The latest party to gain recognition was the al Ghad in november 2004, and their former party leader Ayman Nour is currently in jail serving a five year prison sentence. In fact most of the parties that have attained a license have done so after appealing to the supreme court, after failing to comply with the haphazard criteririon of the PPC, a body that is closely connected to the rulling party the NDP, their chairman being none other than the Shura Council speaker as well as the NDP Secretary General.

I have stated before that one prerequisite for any meaningful democratic movement should be the scrapping of the PPC(i could think of a few more). The President have stated on several occasions that one of the purposes with the forthcomming(before the Shura Council elections in April 2007) constitutional amendmends is to reinvigourate the political parties. I hope that this is the case, and not only to change the election laws, to benefit the political parties, while effectively closing the way for the independents(read the Muslim Brotherhood), something that will not be easy to achieve, considering what happend in 1987, when law 114 was deemed unconstitutional for reasons violating the basic constitutional rights of independent politicans to run for office(law 114 was the basis for the proportional representation system of parliamentary elections which only allowed partties to participate and closed the door for independents, this was the system in use during the 1984 elections).

I would also hope that the voices that want´s to decrease the judges right to overlook the elections will not be listened to, altough i find it almost impossible to think that this will not be an avenue that the best and the brightest of the legal minds close to the NDP inner circle(brat pack and and old guard(well basically only Safwat left) would die for the opportunity to come up with a magic formula - the lame excuse that the U.S A have one day elections could be recycled as part of the PR arsenal, but eventually this will only lead to additional confrontation with the judges club, and will probably be tried in court as well. Of course the court rullings are always hard to predict.

Judging by the words of the President, when describing the ammendment of 34 articles as the most democratic day in recent history, one can´t wait to see the end result, but then these exact words were used on the 26th of February 2006 as well,when opening up for multicandidate presidential elections, and by his predecessor the late President Anwar Sadat when he spoke at the opening session of the NDP, created in July 1978.

Go read the well researched HRW backround paper, that came two days ago, Monopolizing power: Egypt´s political Parties Law

UPDATE go read Arabawy´s account with a fresh reuters telegram, that is much more detailed.

UPDATE II

Additional reports from the AP and al Masry al youm(in Arabic)

UPDATE III

Baheyya´s account of the spectacle, is as always worthwhile and rewarding, please take a few minutes and read it!

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