Leader of Egypt’s Banned Labor Party Denies Rift Rumors
Reports of leadership disputes within the Egyptian Labor Party over an alleged government offer to lift the ban on the organization are untrue, the party’s secretary general told Albawaba.com on Tuesday.
“The party has not received any new [government] offers,” Maghdi Hussein added.
“Rumors regarding the readiness of the party’s former leader, Ibrahim Shukri, to…reach a deal with the government to lower the influence of Islamist party members, whom I head, are nothing more than trial balloons aimed at creating problems within the party, to split it,” said Hussein.
He added that government demands for changes in the party were old and had long ago been rejected.
But other sources told Albawaba.com that party members had been outraged by Shukri’s stance against Hussein in the latest press association elections, and by his support for pro-government candidate Ibrahim Nafe’.
The party was banned after it allegedly interfered in the controversy surrounding the novel Walima Li Aashab Albahr (Banquet of Sea Weeds).
The party was accused of inciting demonstrations that erupted at Al Azhar University in Cairo, where protestors demanded the confiscation of the novel for allegedly insulting Islam.
Following the demonstrations, which led to violent confrontations between the police and students in which hundreds were injured, the government banned the party and its newspaper, Ashaab – Albawaba.com