National Party and propagandizing for democratic illusion
Elections of the National Democratic Party started on the level of partisan units in all governorates in 18th August where 20 members are to be elected for every partisan units-7500 units- then five members are to be appointed after elections, thus the number of members in every unit should be 25. Seven members out of the 25 members are to be chosen to form the authority of the partisan unit, this is in accordance to the basic system of the party and its internal regulations. This coincides with President Mubarak’s call for the 9th general conference for the party between Saturday 3rd November and Monday 5th November.
Noteworthy, the National Democratic Party was established in March 1976, where it was agreed to set three platforms one representing the rightists (Socialist liberals) and the leftists (the Unified National Tagammuu) and the middle ( Egypt Arab Social organization), then in November 1976, a decree was issued to transform the three platforms into political parties. In June 1977 the law of organizing parties was issued that permitted the change into multi-system without abolishing the socialist union that was given many powers among which the right to agree on establishing new parties through article 7 in Parties law before amending it in 1981. President Sadat went ahead and called for establishing a new party to be titled “The National Democratic Party” and called the members of the socialist union to join the new party and to assume its presidency. The same path was followed by the current Egyptian president Muhammad Hosni Mubarak.
Throughout this report, we observe the elections of the ruling National Party and we get acquainted with the views of the analysts and observers ( these are the first partisan elections in the history of the National Democratic Party that are to be held on the level of partisan units that coincides with the 9th conference of the party).
How analysts see the elections of the National Party?
Firstly, the general secretary assistant for Muslim Brotherhood bloc in Parliament eng/ Saad Al-Husseini says that the elections of the National Party are mere formal elections, and it is pre-agreed according to the wills of the highest ranks whether the governor or the general secretary of the party. Usually, these figure primarily give their opinions and these opinions and desires are translated in the elections; “these are not real elections at all”
Al-Husseini added that if these elections are true fair elections then they are not new yet they are typical ones because the major characteristic in all of the parties’ members is neither affiliation to the ideologies of the party nor belonging to home yet they pant for their interests and most of them seek refuge through joining the party. “ Unfortunately, there is no creativity or ideology or approach, besides this party has no field, popular or organizational work, and if they carried out such works they are like decors and formal forms..” he said.
Al-Husseini points out that the majority of the members of the party and its leaders know nothing about the agendas of their party! He related one of the stories that during one of the parliamentary sessions he pointed out that the party has a religious background and he was astounded to find that Dr. Ahmad Fathi Surour and Amal Othman did not read the program of the party at all!
“ There are some reform in the forms of action inside the party but reform has nothing to do with the core… because there is one team who decides and tightens its grip over everything while others are spectators or care only for their interests.” Al-Husseini added.
He also points out that the change in the leadership of the National Party is possible but the problem is that the end is one and the core is one because Egypt is stereotyped in “one man” and “one party”, while any body else are margins. Leading figures in the party like Gamal Mubarak and Ahmad Ezz adopt the same policies of the regime and they will never change it.
Regarding the effect of these elections on the political and partisan life in Egypt, Al-Husseini said; “ These elections would have no influence on Egypt and nothing new will be in the favor of Egypt and these elections represent a state of despotism, it will never induce any change.”
Al-Shoubki: Results of the elections are known from the beginning
The researcher at Al-Ahram center for political studies Amr Al Shoubki says, “ any elections carried out by the National Party, their results are quite known from the beginning, so elections are formal because the results are known”
He adds, “ the most serious thing about these elections is that on the position of the “head of the party”, in other words the condition of 20% as a minimum for any member wants to be nominated for the head of the party is insuperably difficult, because it is impossible that any one could garner 2000 votes out of 5000 votes. This makes the experience of elections inside this party is like any other experience out of the party; formal elections.
Al-Shoubki added, “ in my opinion, Gamal Mubarak will not be the head in the next conference which is to be held in next November, but it is a step that would be carried for the following conference.”
Al-Shoubki elucidated that what the national party set from difficult conditions is the same mimic of insuperably difficult conditions outside the party like those regarding the nomination to the post of the Head of the republic. This party is quelling any opportunity for the appearance of any reforming current inside the party through its difficult conditions.
When we asked Dr. Amr Alshoubky if he expects any rate of change in some of the leading figures in the National Party through elections he replied, “ I don’t want to expect, but what I can say is that any changes are carried out through accordance and agreement and not through elections.”
Al-Shoubki added, “these elections are not from the traditions of the national Party and they are new one, I believe that this party can not even accomplish these elections.”
Amr Al-Shoubki believes that the influence of these elections would be negative in both partisan and political life in Egypt since the National party is the only ruling party and its elections would influence negatively rather than any party, he also explained that this is because the party tightens its grip over administrative bodies and executive power. This guarantees the existence of the party as a body that lacks democracy and does not hold any approach… “this will not only be reflected in the party but in all fields in Egypt and this is clear in the daily anarchy and chaos we are witnessing here”.
He points, “the fundamental problem is that the program of the party is that it wants to satisfy all parts so he does not satisfy any!” he adds, “the party has a flimsy program and include many contradicting elements in experiences because it is acting as if it is the apparatus of the state, and not as a political party. I guess that this party is not committed to any program and this is clear in its contradicting trends.”
Jihad Ouda: The influence of the elections will be slow
Dr. Jihad Ouda is the member of secretariat of the committee of policies in the National Party and is the head of the department of political sciences at Helwan university. He commented on the elections of the National Party that are to be conducted soon, “The elections of the National Party has somehow a bit of seriousness because it is the frit ones in a legal party where elections are held from the base to the bottom.”
Ouda spoke about the phases of elections saying, “ there are two phases for the elections, the first one starts this week and will end at the middle of the next month. This phase would include the main units even on the level of the governorate, while the second phase will include the general secretariat and the elections on the post of presidency and the general secretariat”
He adds, “ the party is witnessing a new electoral phase in order to promote the concept of elections as a basic thing for the state and this assures its call for all the people to promote democracy.”
He explained that this is the first time to conduct elections for the national party and thus no one can expect what will take place or what will the party would witness from change in its leading figures or not. He said, “this is the first time to conduct elections in this form where many signs were published in many newspapers and we called all the members of the party to elect.
Regarding the influence of these elections on the political life in Egypt, he said, “In fact, its impact is very simple and s;low in its first steps but undoubtedly, it will be clear. We call every body to follow this influence, thus the political and partisan action will be the base of democracy”
Ouda pointed out that there are many closed parties that we know nothing about its members or the number of its members and we call every body to take us as an example …there are many ambiguous political forces like Muslim Brotherhood where no body knows the real number of its members.
George Ishaq: Elections of the national party are a decors
George Ishaq is the ex general co-coordinator of Kifaya movement, these elections are like decors and all nominees are known before their nomination.
Ishaq said, “we do not trust the regime at all and we do not even trust its measures and we do not either trust its procedures and all forms carried out by this party are formal ones, even if they were depicted in a democratic form, because such elections have nothing to do with democracy”
Regarding the influence of these elections on the political arena in Egypt, Ishaq said that they would not affect the political and partisan life because the ruling national party does not change its policies.
He added, ” I exclude completely any change in the political elections because the party does not enjoy any free opinion, because it is only the opinion of the regime and the leading figures in the party and the members of the party alone.”