By Tamim Elyan
CAIRO: Legal procedures to establish two political parties, based on principles of a civil state and social justice and inspired by the January 25 Revolution, are to start soon, according to the founders.
In their second meeting last Friday, labor leaders from independent labor syndicates and workers’ groups agreed on starting legal procedures for establishing the “Labor Democratic Party” and approved its primary founding statement.
The party membership would be open to anyone who works with a salary including workers, employees, peasants and professionals to act as a channel for workers to voice their demands and defend their interests, according to its founders.
“Businessmen and political elites have their own parties and groups while workers, despite their critical role in the revolution, don’t have a political party to represent and lead them in the struggle for power,” read the founding announcement of the party.
Some dissidents from Al-Tagammu leftist party, along with other leftist and socialist activists, agreed on Saturday to name their new party the “Popular Coalition Party”. It would act as a platform for a new leftist and socialist stream capable of attracting the public into political life and promoting freedom and social justice.
“The people’s will for change was aligned with leftist streams that represent the heritage of people’s struggle for democracy and social justice during the revolution,” said the founding announcement of the party.
The party aims, according to its founders, to integrate the public in political life, unite various leftist streams and give priority to the youth in its activities.
Both parties gathered signatures from their founding members and are set to hold their first conferences within months.
The founding goals of both parties include the complete achievement of the revolution’s demands by getting rid of the past regime and establishing a civil, democratic state, as well as fighting capitalist policies and promoting the rights of lower social classes.
“Our ideology is the same as the revolution’s; we only paraphrase its demands of freedom, social justice and civil state from the point of view of workers,” said Kamal Khalil, spokesperson of the proposed Labor Democratic Party.
“Existing parties are state-made and have never adopted or defended workers in their struggle; so under the pressure of workers we decided to form a party of our own,” he added.
Founders of the Popular Coalition Party criticized the Tagammu Party, citing its “pro-state” policies and authoritarian leadership as a reason for establishing a new leftist party.
“We are a democratic, open party whose decisions and policies aren’t imposed but coordinated among its streams allowing for diversity of opinions,” the founding announcement said.
Both parties’ economic programs involve setting a minimum and maximum wage, putting an end to privatization and monopoly policies, and redirecting development plans to benefit underserved social classes.
Workers called for the unconditioned nationalization of major companies, as well as agricultural reforms in favor of peasants.
Earlier this month, the constitutional court approved the foundation of Al-Wasat Party as the first political party to represent the Islamic stream.
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB), the strongest, best organized opposition stream according to analysts, announced their plans to establish a political party under the name of “Justice and Freedom Party.”