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National Democratic Party (Egypt): Map

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The National Democratic Party (Arabic:الحزب الوطنى الديمقراطى, often simply الحزب الوطني--the "National Party" or "Nationalist Party"--in conversation) was established in 1978 by late president Anwar Sadat who headed the party till 1981.After Sadat's assassination, the party has been chaired by President Hosni Mubarak and is the current ruling political party in Egyptmarker.

Party platform

The stated party platform is as follows:
  • The party is committed to the principle of citizenship as a basis for total equality of rights and obligations for all Egyptians.
  • The Party embraces the centrality of the Egyptian national identity and Egypt's civilizational affiliation with both the Arab and Islamic nations.
  • The Party seeks to ensure the respect of basic rights for all citizens and affirms the importance of continuing the process of democratization through respect for the rule of law, the constitution, and the protection of civil liberties. It also affirms the principles of transparency and accountability, freedom of the press and encouragement of political participation at all levels.
  • The Party believes in the role of the State in creating the appropriate atmosphere for the development process and achieving equilibrium of interests between the individual and the community.
  • The Party believes in the importance of the role of the private sector in attaining economic development.
  • The Party believes in the importance of the role of civil society institutions and non-governmental organizations in the development process.
  • The party seeks to enhance the role of youth and women in the in public life.
  • The Party believes in the importance of positive interaction with the world as a whole to achieve Egypt's national interest and attain the targeted development rates.


In reality, the adherence to the principles outlined in the platform is spotty, with many of the points involving human rights and civil liberties ignored by the Egyptian government.

The Old Guard

The old guard of the NDP is made up of distinctive personalities that have been on the Egyptian political scene for a long time. Among these characters identified with the old branch of the party are:
  1. Mr. Safwat Al Sherif, the NDP's General Secretary, and head of the Shura Council (the Upper House of Parliament). He was also the former Minister of Information
  2. Mr. Kamal Al Shazli, one of the longest serving Parliamentarian in the world, and former Minister of Parliamentary Affairs (currently that position is held by Dr. Mofid Shehab). Al Shazly, who is still a member of Parliament, is the head of the Specialized National Councils, a body made of Committees that study and research socio-economic problems.
  3. Mr. Youssef Wali The NDP's Vice-Chairman, and former Minister of Agriculture. Wali had been out of the public eye since his demotion as Minister
  4. Dr. Ahmad Fathi Sorour The current Speaker of the People's Assembly (lower house of Parliament).
  5. Mr. Ahmed Ezz The Chairman of the Planning and Budget Committee of the People's Assembly of Egypt as a member of the National Democratic Party of Egypt.


Presidential elections

The party chairman, President Mubarak ran as the party nominee in the first direct presidential elections in 2005. President Mubarak won the election race securing a fifth presidential term, officially obtaining 88.6 percent of the people.

Power struggle

It is speculated that a conflict of power lies between the young and old guard. While this tension has not been acknowledged by either side of the NDP, the Egyptian media and public at large have been pre-occupied with this apparent power struggle. The differences appear to arise from the directions each guard wishes to take the party (hence the logo "New Thought"), as well as by the obvious age differences. The new generation is led by Mr. Gamal Mubarak, the younger son of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and the Assistant Secretary General of the NDP, as well as the Chairman of the Policies Secretariat. He is assisted by Dr. Mohamed Kamal (Secretary of Training and Political Education in the NDP), in addition to steel maganate Ahmed Ezz (Secretary of Organization), and Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, the current Minister of Investment.

Parliamentary elections

At the last legislative elections, October and November 2000, the party won 353 out of 444 seats. It was joined by 35 non-partisan members of parliament.At the 2005 parliamentary elections, the party won only 317, yet still maintains the majority of the People's Assembly. It is worth noting that banned Muslim Brotherhood candidates, running as independents, captured a significant number of seats, bringing their total to 88 members in the People's Assembly.

Party issues

Presidential succession

The rise of Mubarak's son, Gamal in the NDP's higher ranks have raised speculations that the president is grooming his son for his succession. Delegates at the 2003 National Democratic Party's three-day party conference adopted in its entirety a broad package of policies proposed by the younger Mr Mubarak - something which is bound to further fuel the speculation that he is being prepared to succeed his father. Both the Egyptian president and his son have repeatedly denied that there are any such intentions.

Prominent party members



References

  1. http://www.ndp.org.eg/en/Index.aspx


External links




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