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Aboul-Fotouh's initiative for transition in Egypt finds little support

Parties have attacked the initiative, calling it "inapplicable"

Ahram Online , Sunday 21 Jun 2015
Aboul Fotouh
Aboul Fotouh (Photo; Reuters)
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Views: 2112

A political initiative by former presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh, it which he suggests holding early presidential elections, has sparked criticism from fellow politicians.

Several parties have condemned Aboul-Fotouh’s call, describing it as “inapplicable” and “insane".

In a column published on Thursday on his official website, Aboul-Fotouh put forward what he described as a “solution to the [political] crisis” currently in Egypt following the July 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, recently condemned to death in one of several trials against him.

Aboul-Fotouh suggested appointing a new “consensual independent” prime minister who would assume the powers of the president, while Egypt prepared to hold early presidential elections within a year.

He also suggested transferring legislative powers, currently in hands of the president as a parliamentary vacuum continues, to the State Council on the condition that it would only “amend flawed laws and issue bills related to achieving transitional justice” until the election of parliament, which according to the current situation is expected before the end of 2015.

Aboul-Fotouh, who left the Muslim Brotherhood in 2011 following the 25 January uprising, also called for the “restructure of the interior ministry” in accordance with human rights laws and “protecting Egypt from terrorism”.

In addition, he called for the release of all people detained pending investigation without trial, as more people face lengthy preventative detention periods over charges of protest or violence. He also called for amnesty for leaders of "opposition currents” not implicated in crimes “with clear evidence”.

He also suggested suspending the death sentence in a transitional period in which all political forces would be “integrated” into the political process on certain conditions, including separating politics and religion.

Since Morsi’s ouster, critics have voiced concerns over polarisation in Egypt, calling for less coercive policies and more political inclusiveness.

Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood and was Egypt’s first freely-elected civilian president in 2012, was removed from power in July 2013 by Egypt's military, with the support of most political forces who opposed his rule and mass protests against him.

Since his ouster, Egypt’s government has conducted a crackdown on the Brotherhood, banning its activities and declaring it a "terrorist organisation".

Hundreds of its members, including from its leadership, has been arrested and put on trial, mainly over violence charges.

In response to Aboul-Fotouh’s suggestion, Egypt’s Salafist Nour Party secretary-general Shaaban Abd El-Aleem told the Ahram Arabic news website that it could not be implemented.

He added that his party welcomes any initiatives for “unity”, but considered this one to be rejected by “strong statemen”, referring to President Abd El-Fattah El-Sisi, saying that the initiative would not find a “scope for discussion”.

On his part, Wafd Party vice president Hossam El-Khouly rejected the initiative and called it “insane”, refusing to discuss it.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the liberal Dostour Party have not yet released statements regarding the issue.

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