Egypt Elections: Democratic Front Party

The Democratic Front Party (Al-Gabha al-Dimuqrati) is part of the liberal spectrum. It defines itself as a civil party, which is secular in orientation but not hostile to Islam and recognizes that Islam is part of the fabric of the Egyptian state. It is a member of the Egypt Bloc.

The Democratic Front Party (Al-Gabha al-Dimuqrati) is part of the liberal spectrum. It defines itself as a civil party, which is secular in orientation but not hostile to Islam and recognizes that Islam is part of the fabric of the Egyptian state. It is a member of the Egypt Bloc.

The Democratic Front Party was formed in May 2007 by Osama al-Ghazali Harb, a law professor and former member of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), who resigned his post after attempting to unsuccessfully reform the NDP from within. Coptic telecommunications tycoon Naguib Sawiris financed the party in its early days, before launching his own Free Egyptians Party after the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.

The party seeks to establish a democratic and civil state based upon respect of human rights, rule of law, constitutionalism, the separation of powers, and the peaceful transfer of power. It has profound disagreements with the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party, but believes Islamists have a right to participate in Egyptian politics and even briefly joined the Muslim Brotherhood-led “Democratic Alliance.” In the 2010 parliamentary elections, the party won no seats.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces chose Osama al-Ghazali Harb to head the committee that drafted the supra-constitutional principles document, a move that attracted significant criticism, especially from the Islamists led by the Muslim Brotherhood. The party is a founding member of the Egypt Bloc alliance with fellow liberal parties, the Egypt Freedom Party and Free Egyptians Party.

Platform:

Political Issues:

-Supporting a presidential system with less concentration of executive power and a bicameral parliament

-Advocating for a  judiciary independent from both the executive and the legislative branches

-Calling for an immediate repeal of all emergency laws and abolition of the State Security Court

-Supporting civil liberties, including freedom of assembly, religion, and speech

-Demanding an end to arbitrary detention and violations of due process

-Enforcing the main United Nations conventions on human rights

-Limiting the powers of government expressly through clauses in a constitution approved before elections

Socio-economic Issues:

-Calling for a market economy tempered by social justice

-Establishing a minimum wage

-Providing government programs for health care, social security and pensions, unemployment benefits, and disability insurance

Foreign Policy Issues:

-Affirming an independent, sovereign, and strong Egypt and rejecting the meddling of foreign powers

-Encouraging engagement with the Arab, Nile Basin, African, and Islamic communities

-Calling for greater independence from the United States, including opposing its policies when it colludes with Israel against Egyptian interests

-Supporting the realization of “stable relations” with Iran

Major Party Figures:

Saeed Kamel: President
Osama al-Ghazali Harb: Founding Member
Sakina Fouad: Founding member and Vice President

Websites:

http://www.facebook.com/elgabha.party (Facebook)

http://www.democraticfront.org

From Guide to Egypt’s Transition, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: http://egyptelections.carnegieendowment.org/2011/09/20/al-gabha-al-dimuqrati-the-democratic-front-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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