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Egypt: Court Dismisses Petition to Dissolve Religious Party

(July 8, 2015) On July 5, 2015, the Parties Court, which has recently been formed within the Supreme Administrative Court, dismissed a petition to dissolve the Al Nour Party because of its religious basis. (Mahmoud Mostafa, Court Rejects Al Nour Party’s Dissolution, DAILY NEWS (July 5, 2015).)

A petition submitted to the Court by one of the lawyers demanding the dissolution of the Al Nour Party claimed that its religious ideology violates article 74 of the Egyptian Constitution of 2014. Article 74 provides that “no political parties may be formed on the basis of religion or discrimination based on sex, or origin, or on sectarian basis or geographic location.” (Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt 2014 (Jan. 18, 2014), Egyptian State Information Services website (unofficial English translation).)

Despite the plaintiff’s argument, the Court dismissed the plaintiff’s petition due to the fact that the only entity allowed to directly demand a party’s dissolution before the Supreme Administrative Court is the state’s Political Parties Commission. Accordingly, the plaintiff did not have legal standing to file such a petition. Furthermore, the Parties Court ordered the referral of the case to a lower-level administrative court. (Mohamed al Omada, After the Rejection of the Dissolution of the al Nour Party, the Political Parties Commission Says It Did Not Demand the Dissolution, AL WATAN (July 5, 2015) (in Arabic).)

The Al Nour Party was the main Islamist political force that supported the June 2013 uprising that led to the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government. (Id.)