New Wafd Party
|Chairman||Bahaa El-Din Abu Shoka|
|Founded||4 February 1978|
|Preceded by||Wafd Party|
|Slogan||"Rights are above power, and the nation is above the government" الحق فوق القوة والامة فوق الحكومة|
|House of Representatives|
36 / 596
It is the extension of one of the oldest and historically most active political parties in Egypt, Wafd Party, which was dismantled after the 1952 Revolution. The New Wafd was established in 1978, but banned only months later. It was revived after President Anwar Sadat's assassination in 1981.
In Egypt's legislative and presidential elections in November and December 2005, the party won 6 out of 454 seats in the People's Assembly, and its presidential candidate Numan Gumaa received 2.9 per cent of the total votes cast for president.
As the date neared for fielding candidate lists, Wafd left the alliance and competed in the elections independently. In the subsequent parliamentary elections, the Party came third with 9.2% of the vote, and was the most successful non-Islamist party.
Wafd Party is now headquartered in Dokki, Giza Province in Egypt.
Esteemed lawyer Bahaa El-Din Abou Shaka is the current party Chairman after winning the Wafd's internal elections in 2018, replacing pharmaceutical tycoon El-Sayyed El-Badawi, who had served the maximum of two consecutive terms.
Ideology and goals
The New Wafd has tried to place itself at the ideological center between the main historic traditions in Egypt of Arab socialism and private capitalism. It has been critical of the government's encouragement of foreign private investment, advocating a more balanced approach to the relationship between private and public sectors.
The party presses for introducing political, economic, and social reforms, promoting democracy, ensuring basic freedoms and human rights, and maintaining national unity.
The party also calls for abolishing the emergency law, solving the unemployment and housing problems, upgrading the health services and developing the education system.
In an interview with The Washington Times in July 2011, former Wafd Party vice-chairman Ahmed Ezz el-Arab dismissed the Holocaust as a "lie" (while accepting that the Nazis killed "hundreds of thousands" of Jews, but not 6 million), and the Diary of Anne Frank as a "forgery". Moreover, he claimed that the September 11 attacks were in reality perpetrated by Mossad, the CIA and America's "military–industrial complex", and that Osama bin Laden was an "American agent".
Prominent party figures
- Fuad Serageddin Pasha – the party's first Chairman
- Bahaa El-Din Abu Shoka – Member of Parliament, current Chairman of the Party, and Chairman of the legislative committee in parliament and leader of the party's current parliamentary bloc
- Numan Gumaa – Former Chairman and 2005 Presidential Candidate
- Monir Fakhri Abdel Nour – Longtime serving Coptic Parliament member, politician and former Party Vice Chairman
- Muhammed Elwan – One of the founders and long serving Chairman's Assistant
- Essam Shiha Member of the Supreme Committee of the Party
- Ahmed Gamal El Segini Member of Parliament, current Chairman of the Committee of Local Governance
After the end of the 6 October War with Israel, and the Camp David treaty, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat started to accept the return of the multi-party system to the political life in Egypt, after Egypt had been under one-party rule for over 25 years, therefore, Sadat established the Egyptian Arab Socialist Party, where he became its president. In 1976 the Liberals Party was established, which represented the Liberal wing, followed by the Unionist Party, which represented the left wing. Later on Sadat established the National Democratic party. After then there were plans to revive the Wafd Party, led by the efforts of young ambitious Egyptian political figures and Fouad Serag el Deen Pasha.
Early years and establishment
In January 1978 Fouad Serageddin Pasha requested to allow New Wafd Party to engage into the Egyptian political life freely, which was met by disagreement from the Egyptian authorities and the President. The Egyptian authorities started to spread false news about the corruption of the party, and that New Wafd Party seeks the return of the pre-1952 revolution status. However, New Wafd party was accepted to be established on 4 February 1978, by the Egyptian Partys' Committee. Even though New Wafd party was accepted and could stand legally, the party froze its membership with its own discretion to avoid clashes with the Egyptian President and Authorities, which inevitably took place, which included the detainment of Fouad Serag el Deen, the party's chairman at then, by a decision of the president in September 1981, which included many Egyptian political figures and some founders of New Wafd Party. After the assassination of Anwar el Saddat, after which, Hosni Mubarak became president, change in Egyptian political life was needed, as such Hosni Mubarak decided to free all those detained by Anwar Sadat's decisions. Consequently, New Wafd party took the chance its chance for revival, and decided to unfreeze it status, which was rejected by the Egyptian Lawsuits authority, however, New Wafd party challenged such decision and the Party was back to political life in 1984.
In 1984 Wafd formed an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood ahead of parliamentary elections, but the results were disappointing as it won only 15% of the vote.
Early in December 2005 the party appeared to be in crisis following the parliamentary elections, when party chairman Numan Gumaa dismissed prominent party leader and vice chairman Monir Fakhri Abdel Nour following the poor performance the party showed during the elections.
Abdel Nour was also the leader of the opposition bloc in the outgoing parliament before losing his seat in the first stage of elections. Abdel Nour told the media before his dismissal, that the only way the party could improve would be by "changing its leadership". He also continued that there was much support within the party for such a change.
After a poor showing in the 2005 Egyptian Presidential elections, the Wafd Party split into two camps, with one group demanding that Numan Gumaa leave his post as chairman. That demand became even more pronounced after the party also did poorly in the parliamentary elections.
Later in December 2005 the party's higher political board reverted Gumaa's decisions on firing Abdel Nour as well as other members. The higher board also elections for its membership and amended its internal by-laws and rules, especially those that give the party's chairman vast authorities in an aim to trim the chairman's political powers, all of which Gumaa has agreed to support.
On 18 January 2006 the supreme committee for the party ousted its chairman Numan Gomaa from the party and from the presidency of the board of al-Wafd newspaper. The committee attributed its decision to Gomaa's tyrannical behaviour and abuse of authority.
It also appointed his deputy Mahmoud Abaza as an interim Chairman for a period of 60 days after which the General Assembly of the party would be invited for an emergency meeting to choose a new chairman.
However, Gomaa contended that this decision contradicted to the party's statute and that he was the legitimate chairman who can be dismissed only by a decision of the party's General Assembly. He responded by filing a complaint to Egypt's Prosecutor General who ruled that Gomaa should be allowed access to party's headquarters. Abaza filed an urgent lawsuit asking that the Prosecutor General's ruling be overturned.
The party's newspaper Al-Wafd was suspended for thirteen days from 27 January until 8 February 2006 after Gomaa asked Al Ahram publishing house to stop printing the paper and fired its editor and some journalists, complaining of their allegiance to Abaza's group.
On 10 February 2006, the party's General Assembly agreed to dismiss Gomaa from the Wafd presidency and appointed Mustafa El-Tawil (a member of al-Wafd supreme committee) as an interim president till the next elections in July 2006. Gomaa argued the decision was due to an earlier ruling by Giza's court of first instance to stop the General Assembly meeting.
On 1 April 2006, Gumaa and his supporters occupied the party's headquarters to reclaim control and opened fire on supporters of the rival faction who responded by throwing stones. Twenty three people were injured and fire broke out in the building but was brought under control. Egyptian authorities arrested Gumaa and some of his supporters.
2010 party elections
In May 2010, the party's deputy chairman Fouad Badrawi, grandson of Wafd's late leader Fouad Serageddin announced that he was withdrawing his name from the nominations for party presidency to allow El-Sayyid el-Badawi, a member of the party's supreme authority and the party's former secretary-general, to run instead in the party elections scheduled by the end of the month. In a rare occurrence in Egyptian partisan life, the elections were conducted in a transparent, peaceful manner and characterized by integrity. At its end, it was announced that El-Badawi would be the new party chairman, with the outgoing president standing beside him.
Since his election, El-Badawi has met with many prominent figures in Egyptian life, ranging from politicians, current members of parliament, Muslim and Coptic religious figures and even actors, actresses and football players.
To many observers, Wafd merged as a much stronger party after this election, which would be counted that would once again attract liberals who were losing grip in the current political map to Islamists and other extremists.
Role after 2011 revolution
After the 2011 Egyptian revolution forced President Hosni Mubarak to announce that he would step down in the coming elections, the government invited opposition parties to participate in dialogue. The party's secretary-general accepted on condition that protesters would not be attacked.
Representatives of the Al-Wafd Party joined anti-Mubarak protesters in Tahrir Square and vowed not to have a dialogue with government officials until Mubarak relinquished his office.
Parliamentary election, 2011–12
Following the 2011 Egyptian revolution, on 13 June 2011 the Wafd Party announced its alliance (the National Democratic Alliance for Egypt) with the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, to present a joint list of candidates for the 2011 parliamentary election. Executive members of Wafd have criticized the cooperation of the secular party with the Islamists. As the date neared for fielding candidate lists, the Wafd decided to participate in the elections independently, and left the Democratic Alliance for Egypt.
In the subsequent parliamentary election, the New Wafd Party won 9.2% of the vote, and 38 seats in the 508-seat parliament. It was the third-most successful party, after the Islamist Freedom & Justice Party with 213 seats, and the more conservative Islamist Al-Nour Party with 107 seats. It had a slim lead over the other main secularist grouping, the Egyptian Bloc.
Current Parliament (2015-Present)
The Wafd Party successfully contested the 2015 parliamentary elections, winning 36 seats, making it the third largest party in Parliament. At the time it was led by El-Sayed El-Badawi, and ran as part of the "For the Love of Egypt" Electoral Alliance.
The Wafd Party has largely supported the Egyptian Government since the formation of the current parliament. It has strongly backed the economic reform programme embarked on by President Sisi, believing it to be the key to Egypt's successful economic recovery from the 2011 and 2013 revolutions.
In the international arena, the Wafd Party has strongly supported efforts to strengthen ties with other Arab countries, and especially form links with the African continent, in order to regain Egypt's leading and influential position in the African and Arab World, as a strong regional power. Being Egypt's oldest party, and having been set up 100 years ago, the party enjoys a powerful reputation among neighbouring countries, and often sends foreign delegations abroad to campaign for Egypt's interests.
Abou Shaka Leadership
In early 2018 Bahaa El-Din Abou Shaka won the internal party elections, becoming Chairman of the Wafd Party. He took on a far more active than that of his predecessor, with the aim of rounding up all liberal parties in Egypt in order to form an alliance that would act as an opposition bloc to the government, and the now parliamentary majority party Future of the Nation.
He is currently leading efforts to establish, for the first time in Egyptian history, a council representing all major political parties in Egypt, no matter what their policies, that would hold regular meetings with the Egyptian President to discuss matters of national interest, and open dialogue into major current affairs with the executive branch.
People's Assembly of Egypt elections
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|2005||Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour||1.3%||
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