Al-Wasat Party
The al-Wasat Party (Arabic: حزب الوسط‎‎, romanizedHizb al-Wasat), translated in English as the Center Party, is a moderate Islamist political party in Egypt.[5]
New Center Party
حزب الوسط الجديد
Hizb al-Wasat al-Jadid
PresidentMohamed Abdel Latif (acting)[1]
Abou Elela Mady
Vice-PresidentEssam Sultan
Vice-PresidentMohamed Mahsoub
Secretary-GeneralMohammed Abdul-Latif
SpokespersonAmr Farouk
Legalized19 February 2011
Headquarters8 Pearl St., Mokattam, Cairo
Membership (2011)5.088[2]
IdeologyModerate islamism[3]
Sloganالوطن قبل الوسط
Motherland before Al-wasat
House of Representatives0 / 568
The party withdrew from the Anti-Coup Alliance on 28 August 2014.[6] A court case was brought forth to dissolve the party,[7] though the Alexandria Urgent Matters Court ruled on 26 November 2014 that it lacked jurisdiction.[8]
The party was founded by Abou Elela Mady in 1996,[9] which Mady accused of having "narrow political horizons." The creation of al-Wasat was criticized by the Brotherhood, which said Mady was trying to split the movement.[10] It was also not well received by the Egyptian government, which brought its founders before a military court on the charge of setting up a party as an Islamist front.
Al-Wasat tried to gain an official license four times between 1996 and 2009, but its application was rejected each time by the political parties committee, which was chaired by a leading member of the ruling National Democratic Party.[10] Political parties formed on the basis of religion have been banned by the Egyptian constitution since an amendment to Article 5 was approved in 2007.[11] The leader of the party, Abou Elela Mady, as well as deputy head Essam Sultan, have been detained following the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état.[12]
Al-Wasat was granted official recognition on 19 February 2011 after a court in Cairo approved its establishment. The court's ruling was handed down in the wake of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, and made al-Wasat the first new party to gain official status after the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.[13] Its newly acquired official status allowed al-Wasat to compete in the next parliamentary election, and made it the first legal party in Egypt with an Islamic background.[14][15]
The party asserts that its aim is to promote a tolerant version of Islam with liberal tendencies. Its founder Mady highlights as proof of this openness the fact that two Copts and three women are among the party's 24 top members.[16] According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, al-Wasat "seeks to interpret Islamic sharia principles in a manner consistent with the values of a liberal democratic system. Although al-Wasat advocates a political system that is firmly anchored in Islamic law, it also views sharia principles as flexible and wholly compatible with the principles of pluralism and equal citizenship rights."[4] The party's manifesto accepts the right of a Christian to become head of state in a Muslim-majority country.[14] Its founder Mady likens its ideology to that of the Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP).[10]
See also
List of political parties in Egypt
  1. ^ "حزب الوسط: مظاهرات 28 نوفمبر خطوة غير موفقة ولننشارك فيها". Youm7. 24 November 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Länderbericht Parteienmonitor Ägypten 2011" (PDF) (in German). Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung​. 27 November 2011. p. 3. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  3. ^ The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, "Egypt Elections: al-Wasat (Center Party)" Archived 30 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 31 January 2012
  4. ^ a b el-Karanshawi, Shaimaa (19 February 2011). "Egypt court approves moderate Islamic party". Almasry Alyoum. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  5. ^ Egypt Elections – Carnegie Endowment For International Peace, Guide to Egypt's Transition, "Al-Wasat (Center Party)". Archived 30 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 31 January 2012
  6. ^ "Wasat Party withdraws from NASL, considers parliamentary elections: Source". Cairo Post. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  7. ^ Auf, Yussef (25 November 2014). "Political Islam's Fate in Egypt Lies in the Hands of the Courts". Atlantic Council. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Court claims no jurisdiction over religiously affiliated parties". Daily News Egypt. 26 November 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  9. ^ Dina Shehata (March 2012). "Mapping Islamic Actors in Egypt" (PDF). Islam Research Program. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  10. ^ a b c Mikhail, Sarah; Perry, Tom (19 February 2011). "New party shows deep political change in new Egypt". Reuters. Archived from the original on 20 February 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  11. ^ "Constitutional Amendments of 2007" (PDF). Cabinet of Egypt. Archived from the original(PDF) on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  12. ^ "Wasat Party initially boycotting constitutional referendums". Daily News Egypt. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  13. ^ Tom Perry (19 February 2011). "After 15-year wait, Egypt's Wasat Party approved". Reuters. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  14. ^ a b "Egypt court approves country's first Islamic party". Indo-Asian News Service. 19 February 2011. Archived from the original (Reprint) on 22 February 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  15. ^ "Egypt licenses first moderate Islamic party". The Jerusalem Post. 19 February 2011. Archived from the original on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  16. ^ Maamoun Youssef (19 February 2011). "After years of trying, moderate Islamic party gets official recognition in post-Mubarak Egypt". CP. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
Further reading
External links
Last edited on 25 April 2021, at 03:21
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