Most 30 June leaders not celebrating first anniversary

Marina Barsoum , Monday 30 Jun 2014

From a controversial protest law to a crackdown on activists, those who led the protests behind Mohamed Morsi's ouster say they won't celebrate on 30 June

File photo: Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, June 30, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Many of the prominent revolutionary forces who called for the 30 June 2013 protests which led to Mohamed Morsi's ouster last year say they're not celebrating the event's first anniversary.

The Tamarod campaign – a grassroots movement which collected signatures nationwide calling for Morsi to step down – said on Monday that it hasn't called for a 30 June celebration.

Instead, it stressed that work is the most important thing to help Egypt out of its current phase – sentiments that have been pushed lately by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the ex-military chief who led Morsi's ouster and then replaced him after a sweeping victory in last month's presidential election.

Tamarod is planning to establish a new political party under the name Arabian Popular Movement, said the group's spokesman in Monday's statement.

Many other political forces will not be celebrating the anniversary as they say they have other priorities,

Among them is the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP), which said in a statement on Monday that it's abstaining from celebrations due to the recent imprisonment of many revolutionary figures.

Many prominent activists have been jailed for breaking a protest law issued in November which bans all unauthorised demonstrations, among them notable figures like Alaa Abdel-Fattah, Mahienour El-Masry, Ahmed Maher and others.

Thousands of Islamists, already suffering from a security crackdown since Morsi's ouster, have also been jailed for breaking the protest law.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Popular Current, founded by leftist politician and 2014 presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, says it will also not take part in the celebrations – despite the movement being a leading force calling for Morsi's ouster a year ago.

"We don’t have time to celebrate in the streets while we're seeing a deliberate suppression of freedom of expression through the detaining of activists under the protest law," said Lobna Moneeb, a member of the Egyptian Popular Current's coordination committee.

She said the current is currently planning a large alliance for upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled to begin in mid-July. It is also in discussions over the recently amended law to govern the parliamentary polls.

Nevertheless, a number of political groups say they're willing to celebrate on Monday evening after iftar – the meal that breaks Muslims' fasts during Ramadan.

The liberal Free Egyptians Party – a strong supporter of El-Sisi and the parliamentary elections law – will gather in front of Ittihadiya presidential palace to commemorate the "revolutionary wave" that deposed Morsi.

Meanwhile, another group of political forces are organising an iftar on Monday in different areas around Cairo to discuss different political issues – but not for celebrations.

The Socialist Popular Alliance Party announced on its Facebook page that it will be in attendance.


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