Egypt’s Liberals May Withdraw From Group Drafting Constitution
By: Mohsen Samika, Mahmoud Ramzi and Ahmad Allam Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt).
A number of liberal movements have agreed to establish a new coalition called “Egyptian Patriotism,” aimed at putting pressure on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party.
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Egyptian liberal and secular groups threaten to boycott the committee tasked with writing a new constitution amid fears it will be too Islamic. Al-Masry al-Youm reports leaders from a dozen organizations agreed to withdraw from the Constituent Assembly next week and organize mass protests unless they are better represented.Publisher: Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt)
A Soft Coup Against Islamists
Author: Mohsen Samika, Mahmoud Ramzi and Ahmad Allam
First Published: September 27, 2012
Posted on: September 28 2012
Translated by: Joelle El-Khoury
Categories : Egypt
The coalition strives to change the country’s current situation, which — according to these movements — was caused by these Islamic elements. The coalition will include the Egyptian Conference Party, the Popular Current, Mohamed ElBaradei’s Constitution Party, the Free Egyptians Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Socialist Popular Alliance.
In a meeting held yesterday at the home of former manpower Minister Ahmed Hassan al-Borai — located in the town of Ofok on the Cairo-Alexandria highway — the coalition decided to withdraw secular forces from the Constituent Assembly on Oct. 1, if the assembly is not dissolved and re-formed in a way that guarantees the representation of all segments of society.
The participants noted that coalition members will form committees — working at all levels — to prepare for a week of mass rallies starting Saturday. Marches and protests will take place in all public squares in Cairo and throughout the provinces.
Participants said that during the week of popular protests, they will seek the help of writers, intellectuals, innovators and any person with a political background to help them realize their demands to achieve popular mobilization in preparation for the decision. They noted that an urgent meeting will be held tomorrow [Sept. 28] in the Leadership and Management Development Center in the Agouza district of Cairo.
The meeting — attended by Al-Masry Al-Youm — consisted of the founder of the Constitution Party, Mohamed ElBaradei; the head of the Egyptian Conference party, Amr Moussa; the founder of the Popular Current, Hamdeen Sabahi; former Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Silmi, Wafd Party chief al-Sayyid al-Badawi, the head of the Ghad El-Thawra Party, Ayman Nour; the head of the Free Egyptians Party, Ahmed Saeed; founder of the Socialist Popular Alliance Abdul Ghaffar Shukr, as well as Ziad Bahaa Eddin and the Egyptian lawyer Mona Zulficar.
The latter two are both representatives from the Egyptian Social Democratic Party. The participants sharply attacked Morsi and the Brotherhood in particular, while criticizing Islamic movements in general.
They said that Morsi and the Brotherhood — using the new constitution that is supposed to be drafted by the current assembly — seek to prevent Egypt from becoming a democratic civil state governed by its institutions. Rather, they aim at turning it into a religious state, with a “Brotherhood” character, the parties alleged.
They affirmed that they will not recognize the constitution that will emanate from the present assembly, nor will they take part in any new assembly where a particular faction dominates.
They claimed that political Islamic movements in the Constituent Assembly will adopt a distorted constitution, adding that what happened thus far was a ridiculous political game. They also pledged to not let the situation continue as it was and to confront Morsi and the Brotherhood in view of the public opinion.
They will achieve this by revealing the pledges he made in the elections, particularly when he promised national forces that they would be included in all issues relevant to Egypt’s future and developing a framework of democracy, the group said.
Leaders of secular forces said that they will participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, provided that “a constitution befitting Egypt’s revolution is adopted.”
They added that the new assembly will consist of all parties and national forces that freely select their representatives, in order to prevent Morsi from abusing his legal rights and forming the new assembly according to the Brotherhood’s desires. This would bring their efforts to change the current situation to a halt.
They also said that winning the battle over the constitution would have positive effects on public opinion and strengthen their electoral battle against political Islam.
They added that this would significantly contribute to addressing the political mistakes that were made in the past, saying: “What we will say and decide is the latest round in the battle against the Islamic movements over maintaining a civil state.”
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