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A Partial Guide to the Egyptian Political Parties

November 15, 2011

Updated Nov. 17, this chart and diagram by Jacopo Carbonari, an intern at the EU Delegation to Egypt, and posted on The Arabist Blog, is the best summary I've seen. Click on the picture to download the pdf version.

With the elections in Egypt almost upon us, my student Sarah Sterner and I offer the following list of political parties participating in the elections for the People’s Assembly. This is part of a larger page describing Egyptian political and social institutions that Sarah is preparing, and which I hope to publish at the end of this semester.

Al-Ghad Party: See Hizb al-Ghad

Al-Harakah al-Insaniyyah Li al-Islah wa al-Taghier (Human Movement for Reform and Change Party): A political partyestablished by an al-Jama‘ah al-Islamiyyah offshoot group led by Ahmad Subh (president) and Ashraf Abd al-‘Al (vice president).

Al-Hizb al-Arabi al-Democrati al-Nasseri (Arab Democratic Nasserist Party): Left-leaning secular party founded 19 April 1992. Successor to Nasser’s Arab Socialist Union party. Based on the ideologies of Arab nationalism and pan-Arabism. Its platform also includes renouncing violence and combating terrorism, protecting public freedoms, enhancing the public sector, and inter-Arab economic integration. Al-Arabi is the party’s official weekly newspaper.

Al-Hizb Al-Ishtiraki Al-Misri (Socialist Party of Egypt): Left-leaning secular party founded in 2011 after the Egyptian uprising. Entered the Coalition of Socialist Forces with four other left-leaning Egyptian political groups in May 2011.

Al Hizb al Masri al Liberali (Liberal Egyptian Party): Formerly Mother Egypt Party (Hizb Masr el-Omm). Founded by Mahmoud Alphraouni, prior to the Egyptian uprising. A grassroots secular Egyptian nationalist party, based on the ideals of a secular and democratic government, as well as a capitalist economy. It also calls for stronger and more stable relations with Israel and the West.

Al-Hizb Al-Sheyoo’ey Al-Masry (Egyptian Communist Party): Far-left secular party founded in 1975. Faced repression by the state and was banned from running in elections under the Mubarak regime. Joined the Coalition of Socialist Forces in May 2011 with four other leftist Egyptian political groups.

Al-Nour: See Hizb Al-Nour

Arab Democratic Nasserist Party: See Nasserist Party

Center Party: See Hizb Al-Wasat

Coalition of Socialist Forces (CSF): Far-left secular political alliance, founded 10 May 2011. Group of five socialist and left-leaning political parties, including the Egyptian Communist Party, Popular Democratic Alliance Party, Revolutionary Socialists, Socialist Party of Egypt, and the Workers Democratic Party, combining over 5,000 members. Joined together to create a more dominant leftist force in the Parliamentary elections, and promote national unity. 

Conservative Party: See Hizb Al-Mohafiz

Constitutional Party: See Hizb al-Distouri  

Democratic Front Party: See Hizb al-Gabha al-Democrati

Democratic Generation Party: See Hizb al-Geel al-Democrati

Democratic Peace Party: See Hizb Al-Salam Al-Democrati

The Democratic Unionist Party: See Hizb al-Itahadi al-Democrati

Democratic Workers Party: See Hizb al-‘Omal al-Democrati

Dignity Party: See Hizb al-Karama

Egypt Youth Party: See Hizb Shabab Misr

Egypt 2000 PartySee Hizb Misr 2000

Egyptian Arab Socialist Party: See Hizb Misr al-arabi al-ishtaraki

Egyptian Bloc: Liberal democratic and secular political alliance, founded 18 August 2011. The 15 groups are aligned primarily against the right-wing National Democratic Alliance for Egypt in the parliamentary elections. Includes the Free Egyptians Party, Freedom Egypt Party, Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Tagammu, Democratic Front Party, Popular Democratic Alliance Party, as well as the Sufi Liberation Party, and others. The ultimate goal is to establish Egypt as a modern civil democratic state, as well as promote equality and social justice.

Egyptian Citizen Party: Leading party composed primarily of former NDP members. Mohamed Ragab, who was the secretary-general of the NDP, heads it. The party claims about 6,000 members, throughout Cairo and Alexandria, and draws from tribal and family ties.

Egyptian Communist Party: See Al-Hizb Al-Sheyoo’ey Al-Masry

Egyptian Liberal Party: See Hizb Al-Masreen Al-Ahrar

Egyptian Social Democratic Party: See Hizb Al Masri Al Democrati AlEktemaii

Free Egyptians Party: See Hizb Al-Masreen Al-Ahrar

Free Republican Party: See Hizb al-Gomhory al-Ahrar

Free Social Constitutional Party: See Al-Hizb Al-Distouri

Freedom Party: See Horreya

Freedom Egypt Party: See Hizb Masr Alhureyya

Freedom and Justice Party: See Hizb al-Horriya wa Alaadala

Green Party of Egypt: See Hizb Al-Khodr

Group of 17: Internal faction of the Free Egyptians Party. Accused the leadership of undemocratic methods in choosing local leaders, as well as allowing former members of the NDP to join the party. Five of its members were labeled as troublemakers and officially banned from the Free Egyptians Party.

Hizb al-Adala al-Igtemaa’yia (Social Justice Party): Left-leaning non-secular democratic and progressive party founded 6-6-1993. Calls for equal rights and justice for all citizens, as well as national loyalty. Platform is also based on Islamic sharia as the main source of legislation.

Hizb al-Adl (Justice Party): Centrist secular party founded in 2011. Platform of justice, security, a parliament that is authorized to monitor the executive branch and hold the leaders accountable, reforming education, the security apparatus, and monopolies.

Hizb al-Ahrar (Liberal Party): Liberal democratic party founded in 1976. Platform based on free speech and press, free elections, enhancing the private sector, independence of the judiciary, and educational development. It also proposes Islamic Sharia as the main source of legislation. Currently chaired by Helmy Ahmed Salim.

Hizb al-Distouri (Constitutional Party): Liberal democratic and socialist party founded in 2004. Its platform is based on drafting a new Constitution, education, health, judicial, economic, and bureaucratic reform, such as creating a more favorable investment atmosphere and providing high-quality social services. Currently chaired by Mamdouh Qenawi.

Hizb al-Gabha al-Democrati (Democratic Front Party): Liberal democratic party founded in 2007 by former NDP member Osama Al Ghazali Harb and former minister of the Cabinet of Egpyt, Yehina Al Gamal. Its official slogan is “Freedom, Justice, Responsibility.”

Hizb al-Geel al-Democrati (Democratic Generation Party): Liberal democratic party founded in 2002. Its platform includes national unity and integration, educational reform, and an agriculture oriented technology infrastructure. Its current chairperson is Nagy Abdel-Fattah Al-Shehabi.

Hizb al-Ghad (Tomorrow Party): Centrist liberal secular party, and the first opposition party to Mubarak’s regime, founded in 2004. Platform of widening scope of political participation and peaceful transfers of power, as well as political and economic reforms, combating drug addiction and solving the water crisis.

Hizb al-Gomhory al-Ahrar (Free Republican Party): Liberal democratic non-secular party founded in 2006. Platform includes upholding Islamic Sharia as the main source of legislation, supporting political and social freedoms and human rights, a constitutional rule of law, separation of powers, multi-partisanship, social justice, and the revival of Arab nationalism.

Hizb al-Horriya wa Alaadala (Freedom and Justice Party): The official Muslim brotherhood party; right-leaning, Sunni Islamic party, founded in 2011 after the Egyptian uprising. Advocates for an Islamic democracy, with Islamic Sharia as the primary source of law. Plans to run a candidate in up to half the seats in the parliamentary elections, and is expected to win a majority of the seats it contests. Currently led by president Mohamed Morsy, vice president Essam al-Erian, and secretary general Saad al-Katatny.

Hizb al-Itahadi al-Democrati (The Democratic Unionist Party): Liberal secular party founded on 14-4-1990 and currently chaired by Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Tork, whom the party nominated to fun in Egypt’s first contested presidential elections. The party’s platform is based on achieving unity between Egypt and Sudan, the separation of politics and religion, the promotion of freedom and political rights, and comprehensive economic development.

Hizb al-Khodr (Green Party of Egypt): Liberal democratic and eco-socialist party founded in 1990 by Hassan Ragab. Advocates ecological protection, optimal resource use, sustainable development, and nuclear non-proliferation. It also addresses issues of social justice and human rights, and calls attention to the problems of globalism and capitalism, although it still upholds free market principles. Currently chaired by Dr. Abdul Moneim Al-A’sar.

Hizb al-Masreen al-Ahrar (Egyptian Liberal Party): A nationalist secular liberal party, founded in 2011. Established by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris. Maintains the slogan, “We build the future together so Egypt restores its glories.” Espouses goals of social and economic reform, judiciary independence, separation of powers, and citizen rights. As a member of the Egyptian Bloc, it opposes the Muslim Brotherhood and promotes secular and civil society. Lead by Ahmed Hassan Said, Hani Sarie-Eldin and Basel Adel.

Hizb al-Masri al-Democrati al-Ektemaii (Egyptian Social Democratic Party): Secular leftist liberal party founded in 2011 after the Egyptian uprising. Created from the merger of two smaller liberal parties, the Egyptian Democratic Party and the Liberal Egyptian Party. Founding members include Mohamed Abou Al-Ghar, Daoud Abdel Sayed, Amr Hamzawy, and Mervat Tallawy.

Hizb al-Mohafiz (Conservative Party): Right-leaning, non-secular party founded by businessman Akmal Qortam in 2006. Platform includes universalizing the concepts of citizenship, protecting Egyptian industries, achieving greater productivity, as well as political, economic, educational, and social reforms. Consists of former NDP members.

Hizb al-Nour: A right-leaning conservative Salafi party, founded in 2011 after the Egyptian uprising. Aims to eliminate economic and political corruption, as well as respect for the rights of all Egyptians. Lead by president Emad Eddine Abdel-Ghaffour.

Hizb al-‘Omal al-Democrati (Workers Democratic Party): Left-leaning secular socialist labour party founded in 2011 after the Egyptian uprising. Opposed to the Free Egyptians Party, it is a member of the Coalition of Socialist Forces, and affiliated with the Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions. Advocates for a civil egalitarian system with a state-regulated economy. Other ideological demands include improved working conditions and the abolition of the peace treaty with Israel. Slogan is “the workers must be united.” Lacks official recognition under the Political Parties Law because it is a class-based party.

Hizb al-‘Amal al-Ishtraki (Socialist Labour Party): Left-leaning non-secular Islamist party founded in 1978 by Ibrahim Shoukry. Although it began as a socialist party, it underwent an ideological change in 1986 to an Islamist party, and was renamed the Islamic Labour Party. Its platform calls for an economic system based on Islamic Shari’a, unity between Egypt, Sudan and Libya, liberating the occupied Palestinian lands, and promoting ties with developing countries. Currently suspended.

Hizb al-Salam al-Democrati (Democratic Peace Party): Liberal secular party founded in 2005. Party platform calls for establishing democracy and peace in the region, boosting Egypt’s status at the regional and international levels, and ensuring women and citizen rights. Chaired by Ahmed Mohamed Bayoumi Al-Fadali.

Hizb al-Shaab al-Democraty (People’s Democratic Party): Liberal secular party founded in 1990. Headed by Ahmed Abdel Azem Kamel, and consists of about 275 members. Fielded one candidate for the 2000 parliamentary elections. Currently frozen.

Hizb al-Tahaluf al-Sha’bi al-Ishtiraki (Popular Socialist Alliance Party): Left-wing secular socialist party founded in 2011 after the Egyptian uprising. Consists of members from many leftist organizations, including former members of the Tagammu Party. Affiliated with the Coalition of Socialist Forces and The Revolution Continues Alliance. Officially recognized as a political party in September 2011.

Hizb al-Umma (The Nation’s Party): Islamic social-democratic party founded in 1983. Platform includes socialist democracy, Islamic sharia as the basis of legislation, and support for a peace with Israel. Chaired by Ahmed Al-Sabahi Khalil with a total membership of around 185 members. 

Hizb al-Wafd-al-Gadid (New Wafd Party): Centre-right liberal secular nationalist party established in 1983 as an extension of the Wafd Party, which was dismantled after the 1952 Revolution. Joined the National Democratic Alliance for Egypt electoral bloc after the Egyptian uprising. Platform includes political, economic, and social reforms, multi-party democracy, national unity, human rights, the abolishment of the emergency law, and a more balanced approach between the public and private sectors of the economy. Chaired by El-Sayyid el-Badawi.

Hizb al-Wasat (Center Party): Muslim Brotherhood offshoot with moderate centrist tendencies, led by Abul-Ela Madi. Founded in 1996 and officially recognized in 2011, it was the first official party to gain recognition after the resignation of Mubarak, as well as the first legal political party in Egypt with an Islamic background.

Hizb al-Watani al-Democrati (National Democratic Party): Founded in 1978. Essentially the only political party during Mubarak’s regime, winning nearly all the seats. Composed of mostly powerful, corrupt businessmen.  While in office, many politicians took advantage of their positions to build vast financial empires. Now essentially obsolete post-Mubarak, although many of its former members have joined various new political parties that seek to form alliances against Islamists in parliamentary elections. Tried to clear itself of the corrupt images associated with the Mubarak regime.

Hizb al-Wifak (National Conciliation Party): Left-leaning secular nationalist party founded in 2000. Platform includes a resolution to the Palestinian issue, Arab economic integration and self-sufficiency, and solving issues related to education, unemployment, and the youth. Chaired by Refaat Al-Agroudy and consists of 185 members.

Hizb Masr al-Hureyya (Freedom Egypt Party): Centre-left secular liberal democratic party founded in 2011. Formed by activist Amr Hamzawy after he resigned from the Egyptian Social Democratic Party. Consists of mostly Egyptian youth. 

Hizb Misr al-arabi al-ishtaraki (Egyptian Arab Socialist Party): A left-leaning, Arab-nationalist and Islamic socialist party, founded in 1977. Party platform includes adopting Islamic Sharia as the main source of law, freedom of expression and religious affiliation, pluralist democracy, liberating the occupied Palestinian lands, and achieving unity with developing countries. Headed by Wahid Al-Uksory, it consists of 750 members.

Hizb Misr Al-Fatah (Young Egypt Party): Left-leaning Islamic socialist party founded in 1990. Party platform calls for enhancing Egyptian-Arab ties, achieving integration with African countries, and establishing a socialist Islamic economic system. Headed by Abdallah Rushdi, it consists of 225 members.

Hizb Misr 2000 (Egypt 2000 Party): Left-leaning secular party founded in 2001. Its platform includes a rejection of Western values of globalization, national and social unity, and political pluralism. Nominated Dr. Fawzy Khalil Ghazal to run in the presidential elections.

Horreya (Freedom Party): Composed of around 8,000 members, most of whom are former-NDP. Mamdouh Ali Hassan, former NDP parliamentary spokesman, heads it. Prepared to support 106 candidates in the parliamentary elections so far, with a hope of contributing over 500. Claims to be a liberal party that supports the democratic ideals of the uprising. Opposed to a religious state that is dominated by Islamists.

Human Movement for Reform and Change Party: See Al-Harakah al-Insaniyyah Li al-Islah wa al-Taghier 

Justice Party: See Hizb Al-Adl

Labour Party: See The Socialist Labour Party

Liberal Party: See Hizb al-Ahrar 

Liberal Egyptian Party See Al Hizb el Masri el Liberali

Misr Al-Nahda (Renaissance Egypt): Newly formed political party composed primarily of former members of the NDP. Hossam Badrawi, a former NDP secretary-general, created it. Claims to be a platform for liberal and modern ideals, as characterized by its younger members.

Modern Egypt Party: Founded by businessman Nabil Deibis. Consists of mostly former NDP businessmen. Espouses market-economy and liberal democratic ideals.

Mother Egypt Party: See Liberal Egyptian Party

Nasserist Party: See Al-Hizb Al-Arabi Al-Democrati Al-Nasseri

The Nation’s Party: See Hizb Al-Umma

National Association for Change (NAC): One of the most visible political opposition groups that challenged the Mubarak regime. Platform includes pro-democracy constitutional reform, free and fair elections, social justice, ending the state of emergency, and ending military trials of civilians. Formed by Mohamed ElBaradei in 2010.

National Conciliation Party: See Hizb al-Wifak 

National Democratic Alliance for Egypt: Nationalist and Islamist political alliance founded June 2011. Dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, but contains many other parties, including Freedom Egypt Party, Al-Nour Party, Justice Party, New Wafd Party, Al-Ghad, Arab Democratic Nasserist Party, and the Dignity Party. United in their support of a more nationalistic, less pro-Western foreign policy.

National Democratic Party: See Hizb al-Watani al-Democrati

Nationalist Egypt Party: Consists of many former NDP members, including members of the family of the former president Anwar El-Sadat. Sadat’s nephew Talaat Sadat, who was the former chairman of the NDP, founded the new party after the NDP disbanded.

New Center Party: See Hizb Al-Wasat

New Wafd Party: See Hizb al-Wafd-al-Gadid

Party of Liberation: See Hizb Al-Tahrir

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP): See Hizb Al-Shaab Al-Democraty

Progressive National Unionist Party: See Hizb al Tagammo’ al Watani al Taqadommi al Wahdwawi’

Reform and development Party: See Hizb Al Eslaah wa Al Tanmya

Renaissance Egypt Party See Misr An-Nahda.

Revolutionary Socialists: Far-left secular political group founded in 1995. A Trotskyist organization aligned with the International Socialist Tendency, as well as the Workers Democratic Party and the Coalition of Socialist Forces within Egypt. Involved in the workers movement and played a role in mobilizing for the Egyptian Uprising. Called for a permanent workers’ revolution against the capitalist government, as well as dismantling the Military Council, the army and police force. Lead by Kamal Khalil and Sameh Naguib.

The Revolution Continues Alliance (RCA): Left-leaning coalition consisting of the Popular Socialist Alliance Party, the Egyptian Current Party, the Revolution Youth Coalition, the Egyptian Socialist Party, the Egyptian Alliance Party, and the Equality and Development Party. Platform based on fighting for the ideals of the revolution and freedom of expression for youth, women, and Copts. Its slogans are Security, Freedom and Justice. Launched its parliamentary election campaign in early November 2011, which includes running 268 candidates.

Revolution Youth Coalition: Alliance of organizations of young people involved with the Egyptian Uprising. Includes members of the April 6 Youth Movement, a youth organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, and supporters of ElBaradei. Met with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to negotiate the resignation of the Minister of Interior, the restoration of a fair minimum wage, and the end of emergency law.

The Social Justice Party: See Hizb Al-Adala Al-Igtemaa’yia

The Socialist Labour Party (Labour Party): See Hizb Al-‘Omal Al-Ishtraki

Socialist Party of Egypt: See Al-Hizb Al-Ishtiraki Al-Misri

Solidarity Party: See Hizb Al-Takaful

Tomorrow Party: See Hizb Al-Ghad

Umma Party: See Hizb al-Umma

Young Egypt Party: See Hizb Misr El-Fatah

Update:

A revised and updated version of this is incorporated into the What’s What page.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Jacopo Carbonari permalink
    November 15, 2011 1:05 am

    Dear Dr. Peterson, many thanks to share your list of parties. I would really appreciate to have more detailed suggestions and corrections on the mapping that I’ve done. The idea is to have quickly an updated and corrected version and translate it in Arabic as soon as possible.
    Best, Jacopo my email: carbonarijacopo@gmail.com

  2. Nate Wright permalink
    November 15, 2011 10:35 am

    Thanks, very useful.

    • MPeterson permalink
      November 17, 2011 11:53 pm

      Thanks, that’s high praise coming from you. I very much enjoyed your piece on the elections in Middle East Report On-Line. Let us know if you see errors or omissions; the great thing about digital text is that you can update all the time.

  3. November 25, 2011 11:55 am

    Is the Egyptian Citizen Party led by Construction magnate Alla Hasaballah or Mohamed Ragab?

  4. fahimeh permalink
    June 14, 2012 10:17 pm

    HI
    thank you so much. it was so useful.
    I really like to know the social base of Egypt`S political parties. please help me in this regard

    best regards

    fahimeh from Iran

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