Egypt Independent

Political Parties Affairs Committee approves new Shafiq party

The Political Parties Affairs Committee has officially approved the establishment of the National Movement Party, founded by former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq, Al-Arabiya website reported.

The committee said the party has the right to exercise political activity and enjoys a legal presence as of Monday, provided its decision approving the party’s establishment is published in two national newspapers within 10 days.

The party brings together several writers and reporters, including former Journalists Syndicate head Makram Mohamed Ahmed and writer and journalist Lamis Gaber.*

Also among its members are legal expert Ibrahim Darwish and advertising magnate Tarek Nour.

Shafiq, who won around 48 percent of the votes cast in the presidential election in June 2012, was a former civil aviation minister under the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak, and Mubarak appointed him as prime minister before being overthrown in February 2011.

Shafiq faces charges of financial and administrative corruption during Mubarak's rule. Shafiq traveled to the UAE soon after the results of the election were announced and has not since returned.

*Correction: An earlier version of this story had mentioned that Saad Eddin Ibrahim, the head of Ibn Khaldoun Center for Democratic Studies and the founder of the National Movement for Change, is a member of the National Movement Party. However, Ibrahim is not a member of the party.