About 1,500 political leaders, representing nearly 30 parties and 12 political movements, met in Alexandria on Oct.9 during a preparatory conference to launch the Civil Democratic Movement, in order to "establish a civil force to counter the control of the Muslim Brotherhood and religious movements on the entirety of state institutions."
Abu al-Ezz al-Hariri, a member of the dissolved People's Assembly and representative of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party's founders, said the meeting aimed to unify joint action in order to run the upcoming elections — whether parliamentary or labor and trade unions — with unified electoral lists. He stressed that the civil movement's work is not limited to elections alone; it also seeks to "stand up against extremist religious forces."
Hariri spoke out against the formation of more than one civil movement in Cairo and the division of civil forces into three major movements, namely the Popular Current, led by Hamdeen Sabahi; the Egyptian Nation Alliance, led by the Wafd Party, Amr Moussa and Ayman Nour and the movement led by the Constitution Party, founded by Mohamed ElBaradei.
Moreover, Hariri said he saw the lack of alliances between civil and political movements as posing a great threat to the revolution, stressing that the Civil Democratic Movement works for social justice and to prevent power monopolization.
"We seek to establish a politically sustainable movement based on a national, democratic project to tackle religious sectarianism," said Abdel Rahman al-Gohary, coordinator of the Egyptian Movement for Change and general coordinator of the Civil Democratic Movement.
He urged all liberal and secularist political parties and movements to unite under one list and one coalition, rejecting the fragmentation of civil movements. Gohary demanded that there be a single party that would speak on behalf of all movements seeking to establish a civil state.
According to advisor Mahmoud Birm al-Tunisi, vice chairman of the Administrative Prosecution Authority in Alexandria, a large number of the movement's members support the concept of a civil state.
He accused the Constituent Assembly of seeking to deliberately exclude movement members in the next constitution, in what he called an attempt "to increase economic corruption and a lack of disciplinary justice."
The movement includes the Wafd Party, the Free Egyptians Party, the Democratic Front, the Arab Democratic Nasserist Party, the Social Popular Alliance Party, Ghad el-Thawra Party, the Communist Party of Egypt, the Liberals Party, Hayat al-Masryeen Party, Misr al-Fatat Party, the Liberal Constitutional Party, the Green Party of Egypt and the Freedom Egypt Party.
In addition, the movement includes the Egyptian Association for Culture and Enlightenment, the Enough Movement, the Liberal Egyptian Movement, the Popular Committees for the Defense of the Revolution in Alexandria, the Coalition of the Youth of the Revolution, the We're All Independent for Egypt Movement, the Revolution Women's Coalition, the Independent Teachers Union, the Human Rights Committee and the Medical Syndicate in Alexandria.