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Egypt: Catch the Former Regime Remnants

Technology for Transparency Network This post is part of the Technology for Transparency Network where we research technology that promotes accountability and transparency worldwide· All Posts

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

Last April, an Egyptian court ordered the dissolution of the political organization that had ruled the nation for decades, the National Democratic Party (NDP). At the time, the verdict was considered by many, including the Egyptian blogger, Zeinobia, as one of the achievements of the revolution, and a punishment for those who contaminated the political life in Egypt during Mubarak's era.

She wrote:

This long waited verdict is the best slap on the arrogance of the NDP members “former members to be accurate” who do not want to give up and admit the crimes they have committed against this great nation.

Since then the word “Felool” [ar], which translates to the “remnants of the former regime”, has become the newest addition to the daily vocabulary of Egyptians. Mohammad Salah described the meaning of the word in more detail:

Between seriousness and comedy, the word “remnants” has become the most frequently used word within Egyptian circles after the Revolution. The remnants are the defeated, or the leftovers of the former regime: whether those who worked within the executive apparatus and assumed high-ranking government positions; prominent figures of the dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP); MPs in the People’s Assembly and Shura Council who would gain their seats through fraud; or people affiliated with the Mubarak regime even if they did not work in the government or engaged in politics directly – such as businessmen, celebrities, artists, football players and people the regime would use to promote itself or to justify certain behavior, allow certain decisions to pass and promote the issue of Mubarak’s son inheriting the presidency!

And while the Egyptians are getting themselves ready for the parliamentary elections in November, the remnants of Mubarak regime became a serious issue to many of them. Some former members of the NDP launched new political parties, and some others will run independently. Even when it comes to other established parties, some of them decided to rely on the popularity of some ex-NDP members to gain more seats in parliament.

Azza Sedky wrote how Al-Wafd – one of the oldest Egyptian parties – is accused of integrating ex-members of the National Democratic Party into its lists.

She explained:

However, even the Wafd seems to be having issues with its lists, as certain members insist on running in the parliamentary polls, while the party's high commission thinks otherwise. Mostafa El-Gendy, who recently resigned from the party, was among those who censured the Wafd for allegedly integrating ex-members of ousted president Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP) into its lists.

Also Ramy Mahrous tweeted:

@RamyMahrous: Ayman @ayman_shweky claims some Parliament candidates belong to “Alwast” Party are ex-NDP #Matrouh #Egypt #Parliament #Elections

Issues like this resulted in many arguments either within the parties or between different parties within political blocs, and Bassem Sabry reported one of those example in his blog:

Reasons for the split include ex-NDP members running with the Egyptian Bloc, and also (of course) the allocation of seats within the Bloc.

A list of NDP spin-off parties, tweeted by Maram AdeL

One of the proposed solutions was a law that bans members of the former Egyptian ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) from running in the upcoming parliamentary elections. However, this caused much controversy as some political forces view it as necessary for a real democracy in Egypt, while others have criticized it for setting a precedent of political isolation.

Such a law is still being studied by the Higher Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF), and it is hard to wait for it with the elections around the corner, so some revolutionary youth came out with another solution. They created a new platform under the name Emsek-flol (Catch the former regime remnants) to list all those former NDP members and the electoral districts they are going to run in. Zeinobia blogged about the website here:

Just like Catch a thief Egyptian political groups and activists including April 6th Youth , Revolution Youth coalition and The Egyptian National Council “Mamdouh Hamza” have launched a great website that called : Emseklflol.com
This fantastic website includes all the names of ex-NDP leaders and important members as well former NDP members of the parliament , local councils and NDP’s headquarters in all our governorates. It is huge fantastic work. You can find names based on governorates with brief details about their positions in the NDP.
The most interesting section is the cadres of the NDP , its leaders. That list includes very powerful businessmen who are untouched up till now. The website includes the names of the parties made by the NDP remnants, of course they are more than 8 now.

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

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