CAIRO: Rumors have resurfaced that the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) will dissolve the Peoples’ Assembly (PA) within days, the opposition Al-Dostour reported Friday.
The newspaper claimed on its front page that a presidential decree would be issued “in a matter of days due to pressure from the policies committee of the NDP which is headed by the Gamal Mubarak.
The PA is currently adjourned for the summer. The next legislative elections are due in 2010. Al-Dostour quoted an anonymous source as saying that elections will be brought forward to August 2009.
The report also claims that the ruling party has opened secret talks with opposition parties “to agree on the number of seats every party will get.
Additionally, the newspaper states that NDP Secretary of Organization Ahmed Ezz is insisting that seven current opposition and independent MPs not be allowed to run for reelection.
Despite persistent denials by the NDP, local opposition papers continue to report that there are plans to dissolve parliament as part of a wider scheme to facilitate the transition of power in Egypt.
Editor-in-chief of Al-Osboa Mustapha Bakry was the first to present this scenario, stating that the party would take advantage of recent proposed amendments to the PA law to bring elections forward.
The reason given was to rubber stamp the nomination of President Hosni Mubarak’s son, Gamal, as the senior Mubarak would step down before the next presidential election scheduled for 2011.
NDP MP Mohammed Khalil Kwaiteh told Daily News Egypt at the time that the rumors were unfounded and said there was no talk within the NDP of dissolving the current parliament.
“It is merely a rumor caused by what Bakry wrote, he said, “according to the recent constitutional amendments, the decision to dissolve parliament is in the hands of the head of state only.
Head of the Muslim Brotherhood bloc in the PA Hussein Ibrahim previously told Daily News Egypt that there seemed no indication regarding the dissolution of parliament. “It is an old rumor and reactions to analysis in the media, he said, “and I see no reason to dissolve the assembly, even after the amendments are passed.
“If the PA is dissolved, it will not be because of the amendments, Ibrahim added, “and if it is dissolved then the Brotherhood will run in the new elections. We are ready; it is the regime that will face a challenge.
Al-Shurouk newspaper had also reported that the NDP political bureau was to convene to decide on the party’s candidate for the 2011 presidential elections due to the likelihood that party leader President Hosni Mubarak would not seek reelection.
“This report is made up and fabricated, NDP spokesman Mohamed Kamal told Daily News Egypt at the time, “there is no truth in it. Besides, deciding the candidate is not the job of the political bureau.