Mohamed ElBaradei’s Al-Dostor Party will incorporate the Free Egypt Party currently headed by Amr Hamzawy. According to a founder of Al-Dostor, Mustafa Najjar, the negotiations have not yet concluded, as final points are still being discussed but the parties are expected to wrap up their discussions over the coming days.
The Free Egypt Party confirmed Najjar’s statement on their Facebook page, saying that negotiations were proceeding at a “positive and steady pace,” but that negotiations “have not yet reached the decision-making stage.”
ElBaradei is currently serving a one year leadership term after being unanimously elected on 3 September by the party. According to Najjar, at the end of this term new leadership elections will be held. Najjar stressed that every member of Al-Dostor Party will be treated equally and that members of parties that are absorbed by Al-Dostor Party are recognised as full members. “Al-Dostor is now speaking for the revolution,” Najjar proclaimed.
News of a possible merger between both groups emerged last month following Al-Dostor Party’s assimilation of Al-Adl Party. In late September Shadi Ghazali Harb, a member of the Al-Dostor leadership committee, confirmed the Free Egypt Party would “join Al-Dostor… soon,” suggesting ongoing negotiations.
ElBaradei served as the director general for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 1997 to 2009 and is a well known and respected figure in Egypt. In 2005 he won the Nobel Peace Prize in conjunction with the IAEA for their work on nuclear proliferation and has also received the Nile Medal award, the highest honour that can be awarded to a citizen in Egypt. During his tenure at the IAEA he refuted the US’ claims that Iraq had nuclear weapons and downplayed Iran’s nuclear capabilities. The noted writer and dentist Alaa Al-Aswany once referred to ElBaradei as “a model for millions of young people in Egypt.”
ElBaradei expressed his intention to run for president before the elections, but withdrew his candidacy shortly thereafter, stating he did not wish to run for president under military rule. He stayed detached from parliamentary elections by avoiding affiliation with any particular group and established Al-Dostor Party in April, after the parliament had been dissolved. The upcoming parliamentary elections will be the first time Al-Dostor participates.