In Egypt, President Anwar Sadat has formed the policy-making committee of his new political party.?
SV INTERIOR Secretary General of the National Democratic Party Fekri Makram Obeid speaking in English
TRANSCRIPT (SEQ 1): OBEID: "The new party, the new political party, that has been founded and presided by President Sadat is to be called the National Democratic Party. This is a national, popular party which is composed only of citizens of the Egyptian Republic and is based upon parliamentary and democratic traditions. meaning that it's left to the complete option and freedom of all Egyptians, there is no obligation, the membership is not compulsory, to any Egyptian, it's all freedom and democratic. We are only now in the founding process, it might take some time, until the tenth of Ramadan, which is a very good memory for us. This is the date when Egyptian soldiers had crossed the Suez Canal from the fields to victory, and this is why we keep this day as a very good memory, and this why it's a very good omen to start our activities on the tenth of Ramadan. I hope that in some other occasion I will be able to speak more about the party, but I repeat myself probably, and I'm sorry for that, it is a popular party based upon complete optional, free, free membership. Thank you very much."
Under President Sadat's new plan, the Arab Socialist Union, once Egypt's only political organisation, will be reduced to a mere advisory body meeting once a year on the anniversary of the revolution. Earlier this year, President Sadat banned all criticism of his government, and two parties, the right-wing New Wafd and the left-wing Unionist. Progressive Party, have effectively dissolved themselves in protest. At the moment there are only two political parties, apart from the new National Democratic Party, the small centre-right Liberal Socialist Part and the majority Arab Socialist Party. President Sadat authorised the formation of the three political parties in 1976, but has never been identified with anyone group until now.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Egypt, President Anwar Sadat has formed the policy-making committee of his new political party. President Sadat announced his intention to create the party during his speech on 22 July to mark the 26th anniversary of the 1952 revolution which toppled the Egyptian monarchy. On Sunday (6 August), the new party's Secretary General, Fekri Makram Obeid, gave a news conference in Cairo and outlined the reasons for the formation of the party, which is expected to lead to radical changes in the way Egypt is governed.