Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) welcomed into PES family
The Presidency of the Party of European Socialists (PES) unanimously accepted today the membership application of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP). The decision grants membership status to the ESDP. It follows on from membership being granted to Tunisian Ettakatol and Palestinian Fatah parties in late 2012. The PES decision comes at a crucial time for progressive forces in Egypt and the Arab World: it reiterates the commitment of the PES to North Africa and the Middle East and gives renewed impetus to the calls for hope, dignity and progress.
PES President Sergei Stanishev stated: “I am proud to welcome ESDP into our progressive family. This is a big step in improving links between progressive forces on both sides of the Mediterranean. Under the leadership of Mohamed Abulghar, the ESDP has contributed to political change and is a credible and strong voice in defence of our common progressive values. The party has become a rallying point for democratic change, social justice and human rights”.
Mr. Stanishev also pointed out that; “democratic transition is not a one day switch and, after two years, the Egyptian revolution is in danger. The ESDP knows that the people of Egypt want to return to the true spirit of the revolution, and this is why the party has been a central and positive force within the National Salvation Front, the country’s opposition bloc, and the foundation of the Arab Social Democratic Forum. The upcoming parliamentary elections must be used as an opportunity to restore national dialogue, to respond to the demands of the people and to avoid the dangers of polarisation and extremism”.
Speaking from Cairo, Mr. Abulghar stated that he was; "extremely heartened by the decision to grant ESDP membership status. Following on from our excellent conference in Cairo this January this validation of our party is very well timed". The ESDP leader added that; "This formal linking of our political families will help us prepare for the upcoming elections. Our shared values and the sharing of our experience will considerably strengthen our hand".
Egypt is continuing its democratic transition two years after the historic revolution that overthrew the regime of autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Key general elections will be held in the first half of 2013.
Since 2010 and the onset of the Arab Spring, the PES has been actively promoting progressive democracy in the region with four major international conferences in Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt on the region’s uprisings as well as a series of activities in Brussels to support their legitimate demands for democracy. The PES also set up a permanent Task Force on the Arab Spring. The PES will be in Tunis in March on the occasion of the World Social Forum with the Global Progressive Forum.