Dostour Party youths sit-in at HQ

Twenty young members of the liberal Dostour Party have started an open-ended sit-in inside its Cairo headquarters to protest internal mismanagement.

The sit-in comes two months after several young members resigned from the party over internal elections disputes.

The protesters are demanding a democratic by-law regulating party administration, as well as stricter rules regarding who gets to occupy leadership posts.

“Efforts are underway to solve the problem of young founding members who are protesting at the party’s general secretariat’s office,” said a statement released by the party Tuesday.

On their Facebook page, the activists said the party is currently witnessing a stumbling restructuring process, adding that young members will convene to discuss a way out from the current crisis.

In a statement late Monday commenting on the sit-in, the party's secretary general, Emad Abu Ghazi, said that a sit-in was not the proper way to settle differences.

"What that group had committed is against the law,” he said. “They are occupying a public place that belongs to all party members."

Abu Ghazi accused the protesters of seizing party documents, vowing to hold them accountable under by-laws.

Senior Dostour Party leader Hossam Eissa tendered his resignation in March to protest several members’ attempts to occupy permanent positions within the party.

Other members resigned in February in protest against alleged interference in the internal elections in Kafr al-Sheikh. The resignations came on the heels of party member Shaarawi Abdel Baqi’s death in January of a heart attack during an altercation with a leading member who insisted that the secretariats should be appointed and not elected.

The party was officially established in September 2012 and is lead by former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei   

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