Dissolving Mubarak`s NDP `icing on the cake` of revolt

According to the court, the party was deemed to have ruined political life.

Updated: Apr 17, 2011, 21:27 PM IST

Cairo: Egypt`s press hailed on Sunday
the dissolution of the former ruling National Democratic Party
(NDP), long a symbol of corruption, but activists said the
"real work" to build democracy still lies ahead.

"The National Democratic Party is null and void,"
trumpeted the independent daily al-Shorouk.

"The death of the National Democratic Party," read the
headline of the independent Al-Masry al-Youm.

Even state-owned papers that once served as the
unofficial mouthpieces of the party of ousted president Hosni
Mubarak welcomed the ruling as "historic."
Yesterday, the Supreme Administrative Court dissolved
the NDP and ordered its funds and property to be handed to the
government.

State television said that its headquarters
overlooking the Nile, that were torched during anti-regime
protests, would be turned into a museum. Another NDP building
will house the National Council for Human Rights.

According to the court ruling, the party was deemed to
have "ruined political life."

It "adopted policies that bolstered dictatorship and
monopolised power... The party rigged elections and controled
parliament and retarded the country economically and
socially," the court said.

The dissolution was among the key demands of
protesters who brought about the end of Mubarak`s
30-year-rule, along with putting the veteran strongman on
trial.
Wael Khalil, a pro-democracy activist and
protest-organiser during the 18-day uprising welcomed the
dissolution of the NDP as "the icing on the cake of the
revolution."

"But that was the easy part, the part everyone can
agree on," Khalil said.

"The real work is ahead, what kind of democracy we
want, what kind of political structure will take shape. This
is what lies ahead and it`s much harder," he said.
Mubarak is currently under arrest in a hospital in the
Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he fled after
stepping down and handing power to a military council on
February 11.

His sons Alaa and Gamal, the latter a senior NDP
leader, are in jail along with dozens of former regime members
being investigated for violence against protesters and
corruption.

During Mubarak`s rule, the NDP`s tentacles had
stretched far and wide, controling parliament, government and
universities, mosques and syndicates.

PTI