Squabbling Egyptian Labor Party Meets to Choose Leaders
BY Mohammad Baali
Albawaba.com - Cairo
The executive committee of the Egyptian opposition Labor Party has chosen Mahfouz Azzam to be party deputy head and Talat Remaih, the current party secretary general, as editor-in-chief of the party newspaper Al Shaab.
The selections were made at the committee’s meeting on Friday evening.
The executive committee meeting was not attended by the party head, Ibrahim Shukri, whose differences with the party’s secretary general, Magdi Hussein, recently came to the fore.
The rift has become particularly evident ever since Shukri’s unilateral announcement of the selection of Hamed Zaidan as Al Shaab editor-in-chief in place of Hussein, who held the post until Friday evening.
The executive committee is reportedly dominated by the Islamist-oriented group led by Magdi Hussein, which includes Azzam and Remaih.
Shukri has been trying to reach a deal with the Egyptian government to exclude the Islamist group from the party leadership in exchange for the cancellation of the year-old ban on the party.
The party was banned upon a decision from the party affairs committee at the Shura Council, which is dominated by members of the ruling National Democratic Party.
The decision followed a campaign launched by Al Shaab newspaper against the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, after the ministry reprinted the novel Walima Li Aa’shab Al Bahr (A Banquet of Seaweed) by the Syrian writer Haider Haider.
The government move sparked violent demonstrations at Al Azhar University, during which the students shouted slogans accusing the government of sponsoring and spreading atheism. Hundreds of students, citizens and policemen were injured in the clashes – Albawaba.com