A look at the key players in politics

CAIRO (AP) — A look at the key players in Egypt’s politics trying to influence Wednesday’s referendum on the constitutional amendment that sets broad rules for Egypt’s first presidential election. The ruling National Democratic Party and eleven minor parties also have announced participation in Wednesday’s election.
. Hosni Mubarak: President since 1981 and head of the ruling National Democratic Party. Mubarak, 77, hasn’t announced if he will run for a fifth six-year term in upcoming presidential election in September, but is expected to do so. He opened the door to the country’s first multi-candidate presidential election, but critics say the rules are being made to ensure he keeps power.

. Gamal Mubarak: President’s 41-year-old son and head of a powerful policy making committee in the ruling party.

Presents himself as part of a pro-reform force in the party. Rose quickly in party ranks, fuelling speculation he denies that he is being groomed to succeed his father.

. Muslim Brotherhood: Founded in 1928, Egypt’s most popular opposition group inspires militant and peaceful Islamic movements in the Muslim world. Banned in 1954 after then-president Gamal Abdel Nasser accused its leaders of being behind his attempted assassination. Renounced violence in the 1970s in favour of peaceful approach to establishing an Islamic state. Its supporters run as independents in parliament, but rules being set up would make it virtually impossible for a Brotherhood member or supporter to run for president. Urges referendum boycott.

. Progressive National Unionist Party, `Al Tagammu’: Leftist, secular party formed in 1975 under the leadership of Khaled Mohieddin, an officer and member of the military junta that toppled the monarchy in 1952. Advocates rights of workers and women. Now led by Rifaat Al Said, party has six members in parliament. It called for a boycott of the referendum and has yet to say if it will front a candidate for the presidential election. However, party figurehead Mohieddin, 83, has said he might contest the September election.

. Arab Democratic Nass-erite Party: Formed in 1992, promotes socialist ideals of former Egyptian president after whom it is named, including economic self-reliance and stronger relations with other Arab countries. Led by Diaa Eldin Dawoud, the Nasserites’ only member in parliament was kicked out of the party May 10 after voicing support for the constitutional changes. Dawoud says party is boycotting referendum and that he will not run in September elections.

. The New Wafd Party: Led by law professor Noaman Gomaa, the party has suffered internal feuds and is down to four representatives in parliament after expelling two of its members. Despite its liberal leanings, the party aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood in 1984 and 1987 parliamentary elections, allowing the outlawed group to secure seats. Gomaa says he will boycott the referendum, and has yet to make a decision about the presidential vote.

. Tomorrow Party, `Al Ghad’: Led by ambitious politician Ayman Nour, the party is the sole announced challenger since Nour was arrested in January on fraud accusations and then released in March to a hero’s welcome. His party is boycotting the referendum, but Nour still plans to run for president.

. Enough, `Kifaya’: A mix of nationalists, Islamists, Nasserites and others of all ideological stripes from Muslim and Christian backgrounds. Formed in September 2004, their common ground is ending Mubarak’s 24-year rule, using as their slogan the word “Kifaya,” the Arabic word for “Enough.” In numerous street protests, group demands Mubarak not seek another term and that his son, Gamal, not be allowed to succeed him. Boycotting referendum and presidential election.

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