CAIRO: Ayman Nour became the president of Al-Ghad Party after winning the elections in the General Assembly on Friday.
Nour, founder of the party, won 88 percent of the votes. He was running against Yasser Abdel-Hamid, the party’s high committee member and assistant president.
Nour told Daily News Egypt that he will stay in office for one year during which he will reform the party and try to expand its influence in the political sphere“Our rights have been returned to us,” he said.
Conflict over the party’s leadership escalated following Nour’s imprisonment in 2005, leading to a notorious legal battle between Moussa Moustafa Moussa, a founding member who had been fired by Nour, and Ehab El-Kholy, a Nour supporter.
The contradicting verdicts issued by the courts regarding the party’s leadership did little to improve the situation.
The political parties committee of the Shoura Council decided on July 18 to recognize Moussa Mostafa Moussa as the president of Al-Ghad Party.
Earlier, the Administrative Court had ruled on July 4 to accept an appeal by the political parties committee and Moussa, refusing El-Khouly as president of the party but at the same time the court also rejected a lawsuit filed by Moussa to recognize him as the president, leaving the party with no leader.
Nour told Daily News Egypt “the party’s general assembly is the only authority that has the right to choose the party’s president.”
“[The political parties committee] takes its orders from the general assembly,” he added.
Nour ran for the presidential elections in 2005, coming in a distant second after President Hosni Mubarak.
A few months after the elections, Nour was sentenced to five years in prison for allegedly forging powers of attorney required to start his new party, charges he claimed were politically motivated.
Nour was released in February 2009 on medical grounds.
Even though he is legally banned from practicing any political activity for five years after he completes his sentence, Nour recently announced his intention to run for president in 2011.
“I do practice my political rights and I will take all the necessary legal measures for this purpose,” he previously told Daily News Egypt.
A group of young people launched a campaign on social networking website, Facebook, against Nour’s announcement.
Addressing Nour, the group wrote on their Facebook page, “We stand as one against all those who try to deceive this great nation,” the statement says.
“We accuse you, Ayman Nour, of all these crimes we know you’ve committed, the words and actions you’ve taken against Egypt and the Egyptian people, including your apology to the Zionist entity and your refusal to attack the Jewish state, which murders sons of beloved Palestine every hour,” the statement added.
The campaign counters the one Nour launched against Gamal Mubarak’s rumored presidency bid in the 2011 elections, under the title “Egypt is too big for you.”
Nour told Daily News Egypt that he is yet to see the Facebook page attacking him.
“I’ve only heard about it, I can’t comment on it until I see it,” he said.
On the other hand, 20 members of the Organization for Defending Police and Citizens filed a complaint to Prosecutor General Mahmoud Abdel Meguid against Nour on Sunday.
The members accuse Nour of inciting the people “to hate” Gamal Mubarak and deprive him of his basic civil right to run in the next presidential elections.
Nour told Daily News Egypt “I will go to the prosecutor’s office next week and accuse these people of political stupidity.”
“I will admit that I launched a campaign against Gamal Mubarak running for president because that’s my right,” he added.
A supporter of opposition leader Ayman Nour (R) glues an anti Gamal Mubarak (L), son of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, poster with the writing in Arabic "Egypt is too big for you", on Aug. 5. (AFP PHOTO/STR)