The New Al-Wafd party is the major opposition party in Egypt. It was created in 1978 by Fouad Pasha Serag Eddine. The term “wafd” refer to a “delegation. It is a liberal capitalist party that calls for public freedoms and a maximum reduction of the economic role of the state. It encourages Arab and foreign investment, the liberalisation of foreign trade and the exchange rates, privatisation of certain parts of the public sector. On an economic level, most of the Wafd ideas have been taken over by the NDP. On the issue of political freedom and democratic reform, however, the Wafd is much more liberal than the NDP.”.
The party presses for introducing political, economic and social reforms, promoting democracy, ensuring the basic freedoms and human rights and maintaining the national unity.
The party also calls for abolishing the emergency law, solving the unemployment and housing problems, upgrading the health services and developing the education system
On January 18, 2006 the supreme committee for the party ousted its chairman Numan Gomaa from the party and from the presidency of the board of al-Wafd newspaper. The committee attributed its decision to Gomaa’s tyrannical behaviour and abuse of authority. It also appointed his deputy Mahmoud Abaza as an interim Chairman for a period of 60 days after which the General Assembly of the party would be invited for an emergency meeting to choose a new chairman.
On February 10, 2006 the party’s General Assembly agreed to dismiss Gomaa from Wafd presidency and appointed Mustafa al- Taweel (a member of al-Wafd supreme committee) as an interim president till the next elections on July 2006. Gomaa argued the decision was due to an earlier ruling by Giza‘s court of first instance to stop the General Assembly meeting.
On April 1, Gumaa and his supporters occupied the party’s headquarters to reclaim control and opened fire on supporters of the rival faction who responded by throwing stones. Twenty three people were injured and fire broke out in the building but was brought under control. Egyptian authorities arrested Gumaa and some of his supporters
Wikipedia , New wafd party, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Wafd_Party
European forum for democracy and Solidarity, http://www.europeanforum.net/country/egypt#2