(Reuters) - Egypt’s ruling military council approved a law easing curbs that choked political life under deposed President Hosni Mubarak, opening the door for the formation of new parties that will compete in elections.
* The parties’ principles, programs, activities and selection of leaders and members must not be based on religion, geography or race. There should be no discrimination on the basis of sex, language, ethnicity or religion.
* Parties must not establish military or paramilitary wings, must not be part of any foreign political organization and must declare their principles, goals and financial means.
* Parties must provide written notification of their intention to begin work to a parties committee made up of judges and which will be chaired by the head of the court of cassation.
The notification must be signed by 5,000 members from 10 governorates, with at least 300 members from each governorate.
The parties committee was previously chaired by the head of the upper house of parliament, who was also a leading figure in Mubarak’s ruling party.
* Parties will enjoy legal status and can start work 30 days after submitting their paperwork to the parties committee, as long as the committee does not object.
* Parties’ programs, goals and methods must not contravene constitutional requirements to guard national security, unity, civil peace and democracy.
* Parties are required to disclose to the authorities all donations at the end of the year.
* The head of the parties committee has the right to ask the Supreme Administrative Court to dissolve any party which contravenes the law.
Compiled by Tom Perry