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Wafd
Arabic: 'al-wafdu l-mis


Egyptian nationalist political party that was the leading political organization of the country between World War I and the Nasser revolution (1918- 1952), and central in the work for establishing Egyptian independence. It's full name would be translated with "Egyptian delegation".
Wafd proved to be far more effective than other political groups to get popular support against British presence in Egypt, and exercised their power through demonstrations and riots in addition to participation in normal elections. The core of Wafd's supporters were the professional elite and the bourgeoisie.
Wafd called for internal autonomy, constitutional government, civil rights and Egyptian control over the Sudan and the Suez Canal. Wafd was an important political factor in all fields of the society, by controlling 4 daily and 4 weekly newspapers.
Wafd formed the government of Egypt from 1924, and these governments were in constant conflicts with the ruling kings of Egypt, even after Egypt gained its independence in 1936. The fall of Wafd in the 1950's came from strong discontent among normal Egyptians as well as military leaders, for their inconclusive dealing with the continued British presence in Egypt.

History
1918 November 13: Wafd is organized by Sa'ad Zaghlul in response to the end of World War I. A delegation led by Zaghlul to the British high commissioner in Cairo demands a voice at the peace conferences following the World War, but this was refused. From then on, three years of demonstrations and riots followed. Through these years there were talks between the British and Wafd.
1919 March: The leaders of Wafd, Zaghlul, Ismail Sidqi and Hamid al-Basil were exiled for a short period.
1923 September: Following the part-independece of 1922, Wafd establishes itself as a political party.
1924 February: Wafd wins 90% of the seats in the First Chamber, and can form government.
1927: Zaghlul dies, and the Egyptian nationalist movement is divided, into Wafd, now lead by Mustafa Nahas Pasha, and King Fu'ad.
1931: The king sacks premier minster Nahas Pasha, and suspends the constitution of 1923.
1936 April: Elections returns Wafd to power, and a Regency Council rules on behalf of Egypt's new king, Faruk.
August: Egypt becomes an independent kingdom.
1937: Wafd forms the League of Wafdist Youth, which develops into a paramilitary organization, called the Blueshirts.
1938 February: King Faruk is 18, and tensions between him and Wafd reach the same level as under his father. He has prime minister Nahas Pasha dismissed.
1942 February: During the World War II, when King Faruk exercised Italian sympathies, the British forces him to elect Nahas Pasha for the job as prime minister. The authority of this Wafd government gave them the power to start talks with other Arab states about closer ties. This eventually leads to establishment of the Arab League in 1945.
1950 January: Wafd wins the general election with an overwhelming majority.
1951 October: Wafd unilaterally abrogates the treaty with the British of 1936, which gave the British control over foreign interests and the safety of national minorities. They also demanded a British withdrawal from the Suez Canal, and Wafd-members took part in guerilla attacks on their installations.
1952 January: King Faruk dismisses the Wafd government, following riots in Cairo.
1953: Wafd is dissolved together with all other parties by the Revolution Command Council.
1978 February: Wafd is reconstituted as a consequence of the legalization of political parties. The new party is referred to as Neo-Wafd.




By Tore Kjeilen