MB Proposes New Law Banning Religious Parties

Hussein Mohamed Ibrahim,vice chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc, presented to parliament a new law proposal drafted by constitutional scholar Yahya Al-Gamal to ban political parties established on religious or sectarian basis.  

Ibrahim demanded in his proposal that the right of forming parties should be to be equally granted to all citizens within the constitutional boundaries. The new law abolishes the parties committee which approves new parties, and requiring only the notification of the Interior Ministry upon establishing the party. However, the bill sets rules for establishing parties, including that the party’s founders must not have any judges against them, and not to active members of the judiciary, military, police or the diplomatic corps. The bill also requires a minimum of 50 literate founders with at least half of them are university graduates in order to form a new party. 

The bill bans forming parties aiming at establishing armed militias or those who discriminate in their membership according to religious or sectarian bases. The bill allows the Interior Ministry to file a lawsuit through the Administrative Court if it belives, according to valid reasons, that the conditions for establishing a certain party aren’t met. The bill law imposes punishments up to one year in prison or a fine up to 5 thousand pounds against those violating these rules.

Highlights of the new law
The law proposed by the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc included 20 articles; the first article states that all Egyptians have the right to form political parties, and the right to belong to the political party of their choice as stated by the rules of the law.
The bill states in its fourth article that for any political party to be established; it must be compatible with the constitution.

The fifth article stresses on an important principle, that the party is established as soon as a notification sent from its founders to the designated authorities stated in this law (the Justice Ministry, the Interior Ministry or the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court).

In its the eleventh article, the law bans wiretapping parties communications without a court order. The law also prohibits searching parties headquarters except upon a decision from the authorized attorney general. 

The thirteenth article allows the parties to issue, without restrictions, one or more newspapers to express their views and promote their principles among the public.  

Muslim Brotherhood opposes religious parties

For his part, Hussein Ibrahim told Ikhwanweb that:” The Muslim Brotherhood declared more than once that it is against establishing parties based on religion” he also added that the parties committee which is controlled by the government is the one that hinders and imposes all types of restrictions on parties activites in Egypt.
Ibrahim pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood demanded repeatedly establishing a civilian party and that the proposed law confirms this attitude.
Ibrahim described the parties court ruling to reject appeals to form 13 political parties all at once, as a blow to democracy in Egypt which confirms the regime’s tyranny against the Egyptian opposition.

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