An Egyptian court has dissolved the political party of former president Hosni Mubarak.
The disbanding of the National Democratic Party was a key demand of the pro-democracy movement and the ruling was met with cheers from many of those gathered in the court.
But the move was not welcomed by all present.
The party’s leader, Talaat Sadat, described the decision as purely political and without a legal basis. He also said he could easily find 5,000 signatories to to set up a new party according to the new law.
Sadat may have to start from scratch, however, as the court also ordered the liquidation of the NDP’s assets.
Our correspondent in Cairo, Mohammed Elhamy, says the NDP’s burned-out headquarters is now the symbol of a hated regime. With many of its senior officials now in prison facing corruption charges, the court’s decision has been widely welcomed.
“It’s been a long time coming but I’m happy with the ruling, one man said. “The NDP is of no use to this country.”
“I support the party’s dissolution, even though I was a member, it was rife with nepotism and corruption,” said another.
Dismantling the NDP’s extensive network will take more time but the party’s dissolution is an important step towards Egypt having a multi-party system, with parliamentary elections due later this year.