Al-Dostor and Al-Adl announced their official merger on Saturday, following meetings between each political party’s representatives on Thursday.
The merger will see Al-Adl absorbed in to Al-Dostor, which will maintain the leadership of Al-Dostor chairman and Nobel laureate Mohamed El-Baradei.
“I welcome Al-Adl into Al-Dostor. Together we will build an Egypt that has freedom and social justice,” tweeted ElBaradei on Friday.
According to Al-Adl chairman Emad El-Sayed, members of the party’s political bureau agreed to the merger after both parties’ high boards met at ElBaradei’s house and found they had very similar ideas.
“The parties have already merged but there are procedural issues which will take about a month before everything is finalised,” said Emad Abu Ghazi, rapporteur of Al-Dostor’s caretaker committee.
Both parties will now start the merger procedures, such as deciding the fate of each party’s assets and headquarters across the country, as well as what positions those coming over from Al-Adl would take over in Al-Dostor.
“There were no conditions to this merger, there is a huge consensus between both parties regarding political and economic views, both parties for example are very concerned with the issue of social justice,” said Hesham Akram, Al-Adl deputy chairman.
Akram said that this is a political merger and not an electoral alliance, which means that the merger is permanent. He added that the merger was all but official, with the only remaining formality to vote on the matter at Al-Adl’s general conference.
He believes that Al-Adl will bring a strong youth base to Al-Dostor, as well as political experience, since Al-Adl has already contested parliamentary elections and as such Al-Dostor will be able to learn from their mistakes.
“The majority of Al-Adl members are young, so we will also gain from the merger since Dostor has older well-known figures that have political experience,” said Akram.
Not only will Al-Adl and Al-Dostor benefit from this merger, Akram said, but so will all civil forces in the Egyptian political scene.
He added that the meeting with ElBaradei went very well and that the former International Atomic Energy Agency director assured Al-Adl members that there would be no preferential treatment for original Al-Dostor members and that Al-Dostor was eager to learn from Al-Adl.
“Al-Adl views itself as very close to the ideas of Dr ElBaradei so this was a natural step,” Abu Ghazi said.
Abu Ghazi said Al-Dostor was looking into merging with even more parties but he would not reveal names until the process was finalised.
However, Akram was more forthcoming, saying “it is still too soon to tell but we have good relations with several parties like the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Amr Hamzawy’s Egypt Freedom Party and the Free Egyptians Party.”
“Mergers are very important for the political process. There are currently 64 parties in Egypt. After the Second World War there were 70 parties in Japan, now there are 15. We need more parties to merge under one administrative hierarchy and one leadership so we don’t have ten parties representing one ideology,” he added.