The Al-Dostour Party youth launched an initiative on Thursday that includes a timetable for preparations for the party’s general conference and internal elections.
The party, chaired by opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei, has been going through internal rifts. On Monday night, some youth members stormed the party’s main headquarters and demanded restructuring the party through direct elections, an idea that party leaders repeatedly rejected.
Al-Dostour announced on Wednesday night that Gameela Ismail has become head of the organisation within the party. Additionally, it announced the formation of an independent committee to oversee internal party elections and prepare for the general conference.
The initiative announced on Thursday is the result of a meeting between party youth on Friday, 29 March. The initiative called for the formation of a committee to oversee party elections, to prepare for the general conference and discuss the party program and bi-laws.
According to the initiative, the committee will be made up of independent public figures and five party members who are agreed on by consensus. Deliberations as to who those five members will be are on going. Their names will be announced within two days.
This committee will oversee the election of the members of the general conference which will be held in September. Monitors from rights groups will be invited to oversee these elections.
During the general conference, the party bi-laws will be ratified and the chairman, secretary general and treasurer of the party will be elected. The committee will oversee the conference and the voting process.
The committee is also tasked with setting up two other committees; one is tasked with preparing permanent party bi-laws. The committee has to set up the bi-laws at least one month ahead of the conference. The initiative includes a time table made up of 14 steps to be completed on 25 June with the completion of the final draft of the bi-laws which will be voted on in the conference.
The other committee is tasked with preparing the party program that will be ratified in the conference as well. It is also set to finish its tasks at least one month ahead of the conference.
Hazem El-Zoheiry, one of the party youth who took part in the recent strike, commented on the initiative saying the youth on strike are still studying it and have not yet decided to end their strike but “in principle, it is similar to what we want”.
In January 2013, around 120 of the youth from the party staged a sit-in in objection to decisions by ElBaradei to appoint members in influential committees and his refusal to dismiss other members.
The protest came to an end after ElBaradei agreed to meet members and discuss their demands.