Egyptian court approves new political parties

The Supreme Administrative Court on Monday approved applications to form the Jama’a al-Islamiya’s Building and Development Party and the New Ghad Party, which is founded by prominent political activist Ayman Nour.

This new provision supersedes a previous decision by the Party Affairs Committee (PAC) that rejected the applications last month.

Under the law that was issued by the ruling military council in March, applicants for political parties may appeal a commission's refusal in court.

The committee had rejected the Building and Development Party because its platform is based on religion, which is prohibited by law. It also rejected the New Ghad Party for resembling the existing Ghad Party in name. Ayman Nour founded Ghad Party several years ago but left it due to differences with some of its members.

The court ruling said the Building and Development Party does not violate Article 2 of the constitutional declaration, which states that the Islamic Sharia is the main source of legislation. It also said the party does not discriminate among members in terms of religion, as there are Muslims and non-Muslims among its founders.

It also said that the fact that Ayman Nour was the founder of the existing Ghad Party does not prohibit him from establishing another party.

Observers had said that PAC contradicted itself by approving the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party but not Jama’a al-Islamiya’s Building and Development Party.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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