In Egypt, the leader of the country's newest political party has pledged full support for President Anwar Sadat's peace initiative in the Middle East.
In Egypt, the leader of the country's newest political party has pledged full support for President Anwar Sadat's peace initiative in the Middle East. Mr Fouad Seraguddin made the pledge immediately after his election on Friday (17 February) as chairman of the Wafd Party which has emerged as the second largest political party in Egypt.
SYNOPSIS: The vote to decide the leadership of the party was held at Mr Seraguddin's residence in Cairo.
Although he was expected to win it was an overwhelming vote that confirmed his position.
The Wafd Party was formed earlier this month after receiving official permission. It is the fourth party to be established since President Sadat introduced the multiparty system in November, 1976. Already it has 24 supporters in the 360-seat People's Assembly, which is dominated by the ruling Arab Socialist Party.
After his election, Mr Seraguddin, told members that it would have been impossible to form the new party without President Sadat's "deep belief in democracy", and continued the praise saying the Middle East initiative was "gigantic efforts for peace".
"Wafd" in Arabic means delegation. The party takes its name from the delegation led by Zaghlul Pasha which was to have gone to London in 1918 to urge Britain to grant independence to Egypt. It is heir to the original Wafd Party that was the scourge of the British in Egypt. Its formation has been seen by political observers as an "important step towards full democracy in the country".