Closing in on Islamist political parties



Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 04:28 GMT


Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 04:28 GMT

Abbud al-Zomor- Photo courtesy of the official page of the Islamist Building and Development Party ((BDP).

Abbud al-Zomor- Photo courtesy of the official page of the Islamist Building and Development Party ((BDP).

CAIRO – 21 April 2018: Egypt’s High Administrative Court on Saturday adjourned a trial to dissolve the Islamist Building and Development Party (BDP), the political arm of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, to July 2, amid Parliament’s attempts to dissolve all political parties formed on religious bases.

On June 24, 2017, Parliament’s Political Party Affairs Committee submitted a request before the High Administrative Court to dissolve the party and confiscate its assets, as the party “violates” the Law of Regulating the Political Parties, which


that any political party shall not established on religious, factional, sectarian or geographical bases.

The High Administrative Court is a judiciary body that comes under the State Council and is specialized in considering lawsuits of matters that contradict the Constitution or law provisions, according to the State Council’s official



Parliament’s request also includes accusations against the party of electing “a fugitive terrorist” as a chairman; BDP head Abbud al-Zomor is blacklisted by Egypt and is being tried in absentia over charges of “armed demonstration” during the pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-in at Rabaa Square in 2013.

Parliament’s request to dissolve the BDP came following investigations conducted by Attorney General Nabil Sadek after many cases calling for dissolving the party were filed.

On the BDP’s official Facebook page, Zomor posted a statement on April 12 saying that the High Administrative Court’s potential ruling of dissolution could bring “inappropriate repercussion” to the political arena.

Any possible dissolution of the party is a “painful blow to an anti-violence initiative and to intellectual reviews launched by the group on July 5, 2017,” Zomor said.

The lawsuit against the BDP is not the first case filed before the High Administrative Court. In 2016, lawyer Sami Mohamed al-Roby filed a lawsuit to dissolve 11 political parties, including the BDP, that are established on “religious bases.” However, the court rejected the case on July 2, 2017, justifying that the plaintiff is not a juridical person to file the case and that the only authorized entity to file such cases is Parliament’s Political Party Affairs Committee.

In September 2015, the High Administrative Court ruled that the parliamentary committee should review “the legal identity of 11 Islamist political parties, upon a legal case filed by lawyer Essam el-Islamboly.”

The Islamist political parties include the BDP; the dissolved Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political arm of the banned Muslim Brotherhood; the Salafist al-Nour Party; Al-Wasat Party; Independence Party; al-Watan Party; al-Asala Party; al-Nahda Party; al-Islah Party; and Freedom Egypt Party. The Brotherhood’s FJP was dissolved after the designation of the group as a “terrorist organization” in August 2014.

In April 2017, the High Administrative Court rejected a case calling for dissolving al-Nour Party.

Currently, the court is considering another case to dissolve the Freedom Egypt Party. Also, the committee is reviewing the legal situation of Strong Egypt Party after the government added the party’s chairman, Abdel Mouneim Aboul Fetouh, and 15 others to a list of wanted "terrorists" over his links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group. Aboul Fotouh was arrested over six charges, including incitement. He has been ordered detained for 15 days following an investigation by the National Security prosecution.



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