The “Wafd”, one of the oldest political parties in Egypt, occupied a front seat in Egyptian political scene from 1919 to 1952 due to the important cause that he championed: the national liberation. Its leaders fought fought for Egypt’s independence and liberation from British colonialism. Its founder Sa’ad Zaghloul occupied a major role in the creation of the National Liberation Movement.
“Al Wafd” advocates also Democracy based on multiparty system, respect for human rights and civil liberties, women’s emancipation, market economy, strict separation of powers. According to Gamal Badawi, the editor in chief of Al Wafd newspaper, the most important goal of the Party is “to call for a democratic society in which political and economic freedoms are guaranteed, democracy that is based on a strong Constitution which cannot be abused”.
On the other sides, Al Wafd aims for Arab unity and backs the government’s efforts to remove weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East.
He also defends the Palestinian’s case and protects their rights against Israeli repression.
Al Wafd was founded after the declaration of the Great War armistice when Sa’ad Zaghloul and three of his colleagues demanded complete independence and asked permission to go to London to put their case before the British government forming a “Wafd”, or a delegation. The “Wafd” led by Sa’ad Zaghloul pled Egypt’s case for independence before the Versailles reconciliation conference. Its mission ended in failure, the treaty acknowledged British protectionism and its leaders were arrested and deported to Malta in March 1919. This decision provoked the eruption of protest demonstrations in Cairo, which quickly spread throughout the country. This event was later known as the 1919 Revolution or “The first revolution”.
In 1927, Sa’ad Zaghloul died and was replaced by Nahas Pasha.
Mustapha al Nahas Pasha is the other well-known figure of the party. He presided four governments between 1929 and 1951 but was exposed to many dismissals that kept the “Wafd” away from the power for several years.
In 1931, Nahas Pasha signed the 1936 Alliance and Friendship Treaty with Britain. He formed his last government in 1950 when he abrogated unilaterally, one year later, the Egyptian-British treaty.
The Party showed from the beginning a big hostility regarding the 52’ Revolution, reason for which he was criticized. One year after “The Free Officers” military coup d’Etat, the Revolution Command Council dissolved the “Wafd” together with all other parties.
The “Wafd” reemerged in 1978 as Neo-Wafd, established by Fou’ad Serageddine.
Committee of Party Affairs Shoura Council: law n°. 40 of 1977 regulating the formation of political parties.
Mode of Election
The last elections took place on the 8th of June 2001. Dr. Noa’man Gomaa was elected as chairman of the party.
Mode of Finance
According to officials, the Wafd is financially independent, provided by membership fees, donations and profits accrued by the Party’s newspaper.
(last updated: 31-July-2002)
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