President Anwar Sadat of Egypt is to form and lead his own political party. The?
EXT GV President Sadat arriving in car and entering ASU building
GV Audience including high ranking officials
INT GV President Sadat entering and going to stage, acknowledging applause
CU President Sadat speaking in Arabic and crowd applauding (2 shots)
SCU Minister of Information, Mr. Abdel-Moneim Sawi, commenting in English on speech
MR.SAW1: "Well I think it's very clear that the President has given the image of the future, from the democratic point of view, and he has already announced that he is going to start himself a new party to share in the democratic activities of this country. And when President Sadat gives this decision it means that the democracy in this country will take a new shape for the future."
President Sadat has been in power since the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970. While he allowed three political parties to be formed in 1976, he has himself stayed out of party politics. He did not announce the name of his proposed new party but informed sources expect it to be called the Social Democratic Party. There is also speculation that he will apply for the party to join the Socialist International, to which Israel's opposition Labour Party also belongs.
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Background: President Anwar Sadat of Egypt is to form and lead his own political party. The move is expected to mean big changes in the way the country is governed, including the creation of still further political parties and , according to some sources, even a switch to an American-style Presidential system of governing without a Prime Minister. President Sadat announced his decision in a speech lasting more than two hours on Saturday (22 July), the 26th anniversary of the 1952 revolution which toppled the Egyptian monarchy.
SYNOPSIS: President Sadat made his speech at the headquarters of the Arab Socialist Union (ASU) in Cairo. Under the late President Nasser, the ASU was Egypt's only Political organisation. Now, under president Sadat's new plan, the ASU will be reduced to a mere advisory body meeting once a year on the anniversary of the revolution.
Despite this proposed dissolution of their role, members of the Central Committee of the ASU greeted President Sadat with warm applause throughout his speech. He told them his decision came after much soul-searching and strong pressure from a number of intellectuals. The changes will effectively sweep away the last vestiges of Nasser's dictatorship and are expected to strengthen President Sadat's personal position before difficult decisions on peace with Israel and the domestic economy. His party programme is likely to be finalised in October -- the month when the mandate for United Nations buffer forces in Sinai comes up for renewal.
President Sadat stressed his deep attachment to democracy -- a point confirmed later by the Egyptian Minister of Information, Mr. Abdel-Moneim Sawi: