- November 5, 2007
Politicians Voice Worries towards NDP Annual Conference
All sections of the Egyptian society are speaking nowadays about the National Democratic Party”s (NDP) conference and the political surprises resulting from it .
Although the NDP”s agenda for this year”s conference include no plans for pushing ahead the issue of giving Gamal Mubarak a new post, but many question marks are still hovering over this issue in particular.
Asked about his predictions about the NDP”s 9th conference, kicked off on Thursday, Nov, 1st, 2007, Dr. Gamal Heshmat, a Muslim Brotherhood (MB) leader and a former member of parliament, said:” The NDP”s annual conferences are actually for dividing wealth and powers in Egypt without giving any attention to the Egyptian people. the ones benefiting from such conferences are only NDP members”.
“All slogans raised by NDP members are merely deceitful rumors. For example, they speak about the low-income citizens while the suffering of such people is increasing every day. Prices have been rising in month only, the month of raising salaries. Nowadays, prices are increasing at a rocket speed every day. They do not give a damn to such things because they are concerned with the conflict over power and influence” added Heshmat.
Asking about his assessment to the performance of the National Democratic Party (NDP), the MB leader Gamal Heshmat sees that there are many daily money laundry operations in Egyptian real estates and lands sector. This proves that the NDP has no plans for reform and even if it has such plans, it does not have the ability to do so. The hands that corrupted can never reform. No reform will not take place neither inside the party nor nationwide because this party is a disaster on Egypt in the full meaning of the word.
Heshmat agreed with statements released by Wahid Abdul Magid, Wafd Party deputy leader, to Al-Badil newspaper in which he said that” The National Democratic Party is in a state of political stagnation and it doesn”t have the ability to inject new blood into itself”.
Dr. Ammar Ali Hassan said that the National Democratic Party is even backpedaling, not in a state of political stagnation. For example, Hassean said, by-elections recently held by the National Democratic Party failed to give a role- model for other parties. The real target from the by-elections was to reinforce positions of Gamal Mubarak”s affiliates inside the party, and to impose the hereditary transfer of power on the republican regime.
Asked about his expectations about the opposition”s reaction if Gamal Mubarak assumed the NDP leadership, Heshmat said:
“It”s clear that some steps are taken towards the hereditary transfer of power, but thius does not necessarily mean that the hereditary transfer of power will really take place”.
“Most opposition powers are actually a token opposition. Consequently, most of their opposition is merely statements, they have no actual presence on the ground”.
“There is no real opposition except for some activists in human rights organizations, political movements, the Muslim Brotherhood and workers. This definitely is based on the problems that Egypt faces. The future in Egypt can”t be forecast at this time due to the current instability”, said the Muslim Brotherhood leader.
He added that the MB reaction is- according to what was previously declared by the MB first deputy chairman Dr. Mohamed Habib- that any one-sided reaction from any political power will not have the required effect. It is only all political powers close ranks and have a unified reaction that the required effect takes place. Heshmat said again that the Muslim Brotherhood will not have any effective it plays solo in any issue.
Dr. Ammar Ali Hassan, manager of the Middle East centre for researches and studies saw that the performance of the targets declared during previous NDP annual conferences did not spawn the minimum required of the promises.
He cited some examples, like the “Citizenship Document” declared in the previous conference and it focusing in boosting the Egyptians rights in education and health. This document led actually to reducing government ration to drugs and health projects in general, in addition to the government”s gradual withdrawal from educational institutions to give space to the private sector.
He also cited the discussion carried out also in last year”s NDP conference about a peaceful nuclear program that Egypt will start, but we are still at zero point so far, and this same issue will be discussed in this conference.
He added that the party promised also to give vent to more political openness and more freedoms, but there is on the ground a huge backtrack from the ruling regime in all reformist steps that it showed in 2005 and 2006.
Regarding the by-elections on top positions in the NDP, he said that:” There are powerful figures inside the NDP nowadays. They may face attempts to be sidelined and they won”t face such attempts with a smile. They will relentlessly use all games of the political conflict inside the party to maintain their positions”.
He expected that some kind of sharp debates may erupt, leading to a possible schism if some figures are replaced with those following Gamal Mubarak.
Asked whether president Mubarak may surprisingly announce a new president for the NDP, Ammar said that:” The post of the NDP chairman is not conflicted at all, because it is up to the president. However, anything is expected under scenarios that have been prepared throughout the last years, scenarios that decisively indicate that the political milieu is prepared for Gamal Mubarak. If there is a consensus over such scenario, I expect that it will take place”.
If Gamal did not assume the NDP”s General Secretariat post, his men may be give key NDP posts to allow him to control all party decisions from Alexandria to Aswan. Positions are not important as long as he has the influence to control the party”.
It is worth noting that Abdul Ghaffar Shukr, politburo member at Tagammu” Party, declared in Al-Badil newspaper that he expects Gamal Mubarak not to be nominated now, but he will be nominated at a time the regime sees as appropriate, while NDP regional branches will be given other issues to divert them.
Ammar sees that the opposition parties will be divided into two teams in case Gamal Mubarak is named NDP leader. Some small marginal parties allied with the National Party it will support this, while the bigger parties like the Tagammu” , Nasserist, the new Democratic Front, the Muslim Brotherhood group, Kifaya Movement, all these national powers will oppose such a measure.
George Ishak, the assistant coordinator of Kifaya Movement, saw that repressing opposition groups, jailing journalists and changing economy into a free economy are a means that pave the way for the hereditary transfer of power for Gamal Mubarak.
He added that all opposition parties oppose the hereditary transfer of power for Gamal Mubarak because he is the son of the current president and this means that he will implement the same policy. “All opposition powers are against the hereditary transfer of power”, he said.
However, he was angered because the Muslim Brotherhood hasn”t issued any media statement to announce its stance towards the hereditary transfer of power. He added that the Egyptians need to know the view of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Ishak agreed with what Wafd Party said about the political stagnation in the National Democratic Party, and he confirmed that the National Democratic Party has no presence in the Egyptian political landscape.
“The National Democratic Party has never implemented the targets that it has announced in annual conferences. However, we are waiting for this conference to judge again its performance” said Ishaq.
Ikhwanweb”s phone calls to NDP leaders, like Dr. Gihad Awda and Dr. Aliyuddin Hilal went unreturned.