Freedom and Justice Party (Egypt)

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Freedom and Justice Party
حزب الحرية و العدالة
Chairman Saad El-Katatni[1]
Vice Chairman Essam el-Erian
Secretary-General Hussein Ibrahim[2]
Slogan We hold good for Egypt
(Arabic: نحمل الخير لمصر‎)
Founded 21 February 2011 (MB)
6 June 2011 (Official)[3]
Headquarters 20 King El-Salem Hameed Street Rhoda Island, Cairo
Newspaper Freedom and Justice
Ideology Islamism[4][5]
Conservatism
Political position Right-wing
National affiliation National Legitimacy Support Coalition[6]
International affiliation Muslim Brotherhood
Colors Blue, orange, and green
Website
http://www.fjponline.com/ (English site)
Politics of Egypt
Political parties
Elections

The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) (Arabic: حزب الحرية والعدالة‎, Ḥizb Al-Ḥurriya Wal-’Adala) is an Islamist[4][5] political party. The ex-president of the party, Mohamed Morsi, won the 2012 presidential election,[7] and in the 2011 parliamentary election it won more seats than any other party. It is nominally independent, but has strong links to the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, the largest and best-organized political group in Egypt.[8]

The 2011–12 Egyptian Parliamentary election resulted in the FJP winning 47.2 per cent of all seats in the country's lower house of parliament, with fellow Islamist parties al Nour and al Wasat winning 24.7 and 2 per cent, respectively.[9][10][11] Both the FJP and the Salafist Al Nour Party have since denied alleged intentions of political unification.[12][13]

The FJP originally stated that it would not field a candidate for the 2012 Egyptian presidential election,[14][15] but in fact did so, first running Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shater, and then after he was disqualified running Morsi.[16] The Muslim Brotherhood has been declared a terrorist group by the interim government, leaving the status of the FJP unclear.[17] A court ruling on the dissolution of the party is set for 4 August 2014.[18] The party might sever its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood; by doing so, it will be able to run in the 2014 parliamentary election.[19] On 15 April 2014, the Alexandria Court for Urgent Matters banned current and former members of the Muslim Brotherhood from running in the parliamentary elections.[20]

History[edit]

The Muslim Brotherhood announced on 21 February 2011, in the aftermath of the 2011 Egyptian revolution, that it intended to found the Freedom and Justice Party, to be led by Saad El-Katatny.[21]

The party was officially founded on 30 April 2011, and it was announced that it would contest up to half the seats in the upcoming parliamentary election. It gained official status on 6 June 2011.[22] The Muslim Brotherhood's legislative body appointed Mohamed Morsy as president of the Freedom and Justice Party, Essam el-Erian as vice president, and Saad El-Katatny as secretary general.[23][24] The three are former members of the Muslim Brotherhood "Guidance Office", or Maktab al-Irshad, the highest-level body of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.[8]

The party was expected to win "the vast majority" of the seats that it contested in the 2011 parliamentary election – i.e., just under half of the seats in parliament – as "no other party" had "anything close to the network of committed supporters" that it had. In addition, the MB worked with independent candidates promising them support.[8] On 24 June 2012, FJP's presidential candidate, Morsi, was announced as the winner of the election with 51.73% of the vote. Almost immediately afterward, he resigned from the presidency of the Freedom and Justice Party.

On the party congress held on 19 October 2012, Katatni was elected president, el-Erian remained as vice president and Hussein Ibrahim as the new secretary-general.

By late 2012, the Freedom and Justice Party was no longer part of the Democratic Alliance coalition.[25] And as of early 2013, Egypt is said to have become "increasingly divided between two camps": that of President Morsi and "Islamist allies", and opposing them "moderate Muslims, Christians and liberals".[26]

Qandil government (2012–2013)[edit]

After 30 June 2012, when Morsi was sworn in as fifth and first democratically elected president of Egypt, Freedom and Justice Party became the principal governmental party. In the cabinet of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil, sworn in on 2 August 2012, FJP became the largest party in the government, taking 5 ministers, including ministry of Housing and Urban Development, ministry of higher Education, ministry of Manpower and Immigration, ministry of Media and ministry of State for Youth. On 27 August 2012, Morsi named 21 advisers and aides that included three women and two Christians and a large number of Islamist-leaning figures and the new governors to the 27 regions of the country, all coming from FJP. On 5 January 2013, ten ministers were changed, leading to an increase in the number of those who are member of the FJP in the cabinet. More specifically, the number of the FJP members in the cabinet became eight after the reshuffle. This reshuffle included the following ministries; ministry of finance, ministry of interior, ministry of state for local development, ministry of legal and parliamentary affairs, ministry of electricity, ministry of civil aviation, ministry of transportation, ministry of state for environmental affairs, ministry of local development and supply, and ministry of communication. On 7 May 2013, nine ministers were also changed in the cabinet, increasing the number of the FJP members to 12 out of total 35. The ministries reshuffled were as follows: Justice, Parliamentary Affairs, Petroleum, Antiquities, Agriculture, Finance, Planning and International Cooperation, Culture, and Investment. After Morsi's and FJP impossibility to redress the economy, they started to loss popularity and were criticized. On 30 June 2013, massive demonstrations were held across Egypt calling for President Morsi's resignation from office. Concurrently with these anti-Morsi demonstrations, his supporters held demonstrations elsewhere in Cairo. On 3 July at 21:00 (GMT+2), Abdul Fatah al-Sisi announced a road map for the future, stating that Morsi was removed and that the head of the Constitutional Court had been appointed the Interim President of Egypt. Also, FJP ministers resigned or were deposed by the military. An Egyptian appeals court endorsed a verdict dismissing Qandil of his duties and sentencing him to one year in prison for not executing a court ruling.

Political platform[edit]

On launching the new party, the Muslim Brotherhood confirmed that it did not object to women or Copts serving in a ministerial post (cabinet),[27] though it deems both "unsuitable" for the presidency.[28] The group supports free-market capitalism, but without "manipulation or monopoly". The party's political program would include tourism as a main source of national income.[29]

The Freedom and Justice Party is based on Islamic law, "but will be acceptable to a wide segment of the population," said leading MB member Essam al Arian.[29]The party's membership is open to all Egyptians who accept the terms of its program.[30] The spokesperson for the party said that "when we talk about the slogans of the revolution – freedom, social justice, equality – all of these are in the Sharia (Islamic law)."[31] There is rivalry between the Freedom and Justice Party and the Salafis, who regard the Freedom and Justice Party as having 'watered down' its values.[32]

In an interview with Al-Alam TV that aired on 22 August 2012, Ahmad Sabi', the Freedom and Justice Party's media advisor stated (as translated by MEMRI) that the 1979 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel were "a mark of shame upon the Egyptian people" and was "undermining Egypt's sovereignty" and "projects for the development of the Sinai." Sabi' also stated that the Accord "is an unjust and unfair agreement, which has isolated Egypt from its Arab and Islamic environments, and from the pan-Arab effort to liberate the land of Palestine and to support Palestinian resistance."[33][34]

In the same interview, Sabi' stated:

In addition, carcinogenic pesticides were imported from the Zionist entity, and Egyptian agriculture was made available to the Zionist entity. This led to the destruction of various sectors in Egypt. Egypt now suffers from endemic diseases, such as various types of cancer, hepatitis and kidney infections. All these and other diseases are the result of the carcinogenic pesticides, which were brought here along with that agreement.[33]

Leaders[edit]

List of leaders of the Freedom and Justice Party.

Number Person Image In office
1. Mohamed Morsi Mohamed Morsi-05-2013.jpg 30 April 2011 – 24 June 2012
Essam el-Erian (acting) 24 June 2012 – 19 October 2012
2. Saad El-Katatni 19 October 2012–present

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Egypt's El-Katatni becomes new head of Muslim Brotherhood's FJP". Ahram Online. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Brotherhood's Freedom & Justice Party elects new secretary-general". Ahram Online. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  3. ^ من نحن, Freedom and Justice Party
  4. ^ a b "Egypt's Islamists announce own political party", Dawn, 30 April 2011, retrieved 20 December 2013 
  5. ^ a b "Egypt Islamists form ‘non-theocratic’ party", The Peninsula, 1 May 2011, retrieved 20 December 2013 
  6. ^ "Islamist forces join together for Rabaa Al-Adaweya protest", Daily News Egypt, 28 June 2013, retrieved 20 December 2013 
  7. ^ "Celebration in Egypt as Morsi declared winner". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Foreign Affairs magazine, September October 2011, "The Unbreakable Muslim Brotherhood", Eric Trager, pp. 114–222 (full text not available for free on internet)
  9. ^ Ahram, Electoral Results, Retrieved 3 February 2012
  10. ^ "Egypt's MB wins most parliamentary seats". PressTV. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "الأخبار – هيمنة الإسلاميين على برلمان مصر عربي". Al Jazeera. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  12. ^ ”Head of Salafist Al-Nour Party Rules Out Alliance with Muslim Brotherhood", Retrieved 20 December 2013
  13. ^ ,IKWHANWEB T FJP: No Alliance With Salafist Al Noor Party he Muslim Brotherhood’s Official English web site. Retrieved 3 February 2012
  14. ^ "Muslim Brotherhood's political party will not run for presidency". Ahram Online. 26 July 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Brotherhood will not run for Egypt presidency". Middle East Online. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "Egypt Brotherhood candidate: army wants to retain power". Al Akhbar. 18 April 2012. 
  17. ^ "Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood declared 'terrorist group'". BBC. 25 December 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  18. ^ "FJP trial adjourned to August 4". Cairo Post. 21 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "Uncertain Futures". Al-Ahram Weekly On-line. 2 April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Court bans Brotherhood members from running for elections". Cairo Post. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "Muslim Brotherhood to establish 'Freedom and Justice Party'". Egypt Independent. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  22. ^ Shehata, Said (25 November 2011). "Profiles of Egypt's political parties". BBC. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  23. ^ "Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood selects hawkish leaders". Egypt Independent. 30 April 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  24. ^ "Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood sets up new party". BBC. 30 April 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  25. ^ Enein, Ahmed Aboul. "All broken up: new coalitions form as old electoral alliances die out". Daily News Egypt. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  26. ^ "Coptic pope's criticism of president marks trend in Egypt, where no one is above the fray". Associated Press. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  27. ^ MB announces establishment of political party: Freedom and Justice. IkhwanWeb. 21 February 2011.
  28. ^ "Brotherhood sticks to ban on Christians and women for presidency". Egypt Independent. 14 March 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  29. ^ a b "Al-Arian: Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party to be based on Islamic Law". Egypt Independent. 23 February 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  30. ^ MB form 'Freedom and Justice' political party. Ahram. 22 February 2011.
  31. ^ Muslim Brothers see corruption-free Egypt flourishing. Al Arabiya. 23 February 2011.
  32. ^ "Opinion". Gulf Times. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  33. ^ a b Egyptian MB Media Advisor Ahmad Sabi': Camp David Accords Brought Cancer, Hepatitis, and Kidney Infections to Egypt, MEMRI, Clip No. 3556, 22 August 2012.
  34. ^ Treaty with Israel has brought hepatitis, cancer to Egypt, must be changed, says adviser to Morsi’s party by Greg Tepper, Times of Israel, 30 August 2012.

External links[edit]