Egypt's President Anwar Sadat last week legalised the formation of new political parties -- for the first time since the 1952 revolution which overthrew King Farouk.
GV EXTERIOR: ASU building in Cairo.
SV INTERIOR: Vice-President Hosni Mubarak arrives and shakes hands with premier Mamdouh salem, speaker Sayed Marie, Mr Abdul Kader Hatem and other officials.
GV INTERIOR: members seated as Mubarak enters hall.
CU: Dr Mustafa Khalil seated.
SCU: farmers representative Mr Mahdi Shouman nominates himself.
SV: members voting (2 shots)
SV: officials counting votes.
CU: Vice-President Mubarak announced results.
CU PAN FROM: speaker and premier applauding to Dr Khalil standing.
SV PAN: Dr Khalil walks to rostrum and shakes hands with Mubarak and sits with him.
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Background: Egypt's President Anwar Sadat last week legalised the formation of new political parties -- for the first time since the 1952 revolution which overthrew King Farouk. He signed into law a bill which was finally approved at the end of last month after two weeks of heated debate and a boycott by the opposition. However the bill is bounded by such strict conditions that a big increase in the number of parties is considered most unlikely. Only a year ago the sole political organisation in Egypt was the Arab Socialist Union. A plenary session of its new central committee was held on Sunday (3 July) in Cairo.
SYNOPSIS: The meeting was held at the ASU headquarters in the capital. It was chaired by Egyptian Vice-President Hosni Mubarak - acting head of state while President Anwar Sadat attends the O.A.U. conference in Gabon. Prime Minister Mamdouh Salem was there too. One of the committee's main tasks on Sunday was to nominate and elect a secretary general for the Union.
The man most widely tipped for the post -- which includes the secretaryship of the central committee -- was Dr Mustafa Khalil He's held the job before and the opposition was minimal. The result of the voting, by secret ballot, gave him an overwhelming victory -- he won 351 out of a total 368 votes.
The results were announced by Vice President Mubarak soon after the count. The Arab Socialist Union, formerly at the of active politics, now seems to be taking a back seat. Last year President Sadat decided to set up three political parties, based on trends within the ASU. They were the Arab Socialist Party, led by Premier Salem??? the Liberal Socialists and the left-wing National Progressive Unionists. In November Mr Sadat announced the ASU would from then on be playing a minimal role in political life.