Egypt Elections: Al-Ghad Party

Originally a splinter from the Wafd Party, al-Ghad has maintained its liberal orientation but has joined the Democratic Alliance with the Freedom and Justice Party rather than the Egypt Bloc with most other liberal parties. Troubled by internal dissensions exacerbated by the Mubarak regime’s effort to discredit its leader Ayman Nour, the party has failed to establish an identity separate from that of its leader.

Originally a splinter from the Wafd Party, al-Ghad has maintained its liberal orientation but has joined the Democratic Alliance with the Freedom and Justice Party rather than the Egypt Bloc with most other liberal parties. Troubled by internal dissensions exacerbated by the Mubarak regime’s effort to discredit its leader Ayman Nour, the party has failed to establish an identity separate from that of its leader. Today it is technically split into two parts, the al-Ghad al-Jedid Party controlled by Ayman Nour and the al-Ghad party, controlled by leaders Nour claims were installed by Mubarak. A law suit brought by Ayman Nour has so far failed to resolve the issue.

Al-Ghad was established in 2004 by Ayman Nour, a former New Wafd parliamentarian who resigned in 2001 after a high-profile dispute with its leader, Noman Gomaa. After the Political Parties Committee rejected his bid for recognition, Nour pursued the case through the courts and ultimately obtained licensing. At the time of the party’s official recognition, a significant number of al-Ghad members identified as former Wafdists.

The Mubarak regime was concerned about the new party, particularly after Nour announced he intended to run for president. It thus tried to discredit the organization by accusing Nour of forging thousands of membership applications in order to obtain registration. In September 2005, Nour nonetheless ran as the party’s candidate in Egypt’s first multi-candidate presidential elections, where he came in a distant second behind Hosni Mubarak with 7.6 percent of the vote. On December 24, 2005, Nour was convicted of forgery and sentenced to five years in prison. He was released on health grounds in January 2009.

Al-Ghad has also been plagued by serious internal problems. A faction hostile to Nour gained control of the party and was allowed to run its list of candidates in the 2005 parliamentary elections, winning one vote. In response, Nour launched al-Ghad al-Jedid and is trying to regain control of the original al-Ghad through the courts.

Platform:

Political Issues:

  • Supporting a representative and parliamentary system of government
  • Reviving religious tolerance through protecting freedom of religion and belief
  • Protecting the equal rights of all Egyptians regardless of belief or race
  • Supporting women’s rights and reforming laws to give women equal rights with men including repealing marriage laws which do not grant foreign husbands married to Egyptians citizenship rights
  • Supporting a democratic system which solves conflicts through peacefully through elections and the democratic process
  • Protecting civil rights and liberties
  • Eliminating the state’s monopoly on the media which destroys clear thought

Socio-economic Issues:

  • Supporting a social market economy
  • Calling for social justice
  • Making social insurance in education, healthcare, and retirement a national project
  • Rejecting terrorism, racism, and hateful ideologies and welcoming all ideologies which support freedom, democracy, and tolerance
  • Maintaining a strong regulatory role for the state, which is to be held responsible for implementing a comprehensive development strategy in rural and urban areas
  • Pursuing environmentally sustainable solutions to the water scarcity crisis
  • Establishing a development bank to help alleviate poverty
  • Eliminating corruption in the bureaucracy by toughening anti-bribery laws
  • Introducing educational reform and reevaluating outdated classroom curricula

Foreign Policy Issues:

  • Supporting a strong, independent, and developed Egypt
  • Safeguarding Egypt’s national security interests
  • Improving cooperation with the Nile Basin countries
  • Resolving the Palestinian issue in a just way that satisfies the legal rights of the Palestinian people
  • Opposing the American occupation of Iraq and preventing America from occupying any other Arab lands
  • Amending the Camp David Accords provision on private control of the Egyptian forces on the Sinai
  • Developing the Arab League and establishing an “Arab Court of Justice” and an Arab common market
  • Supporting economic cooperation with European countries
  • Resolving international disputes through mutually respectful dialogue
  • Promoting reconciliation between rival Arab nations

Parliamentary Representation:

People’s Assembly Elections

2005: 1 seat

Shura Council Elections

2010: 1 seat

Major Party Figures:
Ayman Nour: President

From Guide to Egypt’s Transition, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: http://egyptelections.carnegieendowment.org/2011/09/20/al-ghad-tomorrow-party

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States. Founded in 1910, its work is nonpartisan and dedicated to achieving practical results.

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