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Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Sisi invites Egypt's political parties for ‎dialogue Monday

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has finally taken the ‎step of inviting the country's ‎political parties for a meeting Monday, following similar meetings with other sectors of society

Gamal Essam El-Din , Sunday 11 Jan 2015
Abdel Fattah el-Sissi
File photo: Abdel Fattah el-Sissi speaks in a nationally televised broadcast in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP Photo)
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After seven months in office, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ‎has decided to meet with leaders of the ‎country's political parties including the opposition, a few months before Egypt's first parliamentary elections since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in 2013. 

The chairmen of several ‎political parties told Ahram Online Sunday ‎that El-Sisi's presidential office contacted them by ‎phone, asking them to attend a meeting with the president Monday at the presidential palace in ‎east Cairo's district of Heliopolis.‎

Chairman of the liberal Reform and ‎Development Party, Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat, ‎told Ahram Online that he had received a phone call ‎from the presidential office, inviting ‎him to a dialogue with El-Sisi on the ‎country's political and democratic future.‎ 

Constitution Party spokesman Khaled ‎Dawood confirmed that party head ‎Hala Shukrallah also received the same ‎invitation.‎

"She will not be able to attend because she will ‎be on a pre-scheduled visit to Geneva, but she ‎asked the president's office that one of her ‎deputies attend on her behalf," he said.‎

During his visit to Kuwait last week, ‎El-Sisi told editors of a number of local ‎newspapers he would meet with leaders of Egypt's ‎political parties this month to discuss the ‎country's upcoming parliamentary elections and ‎the period beyond them. ‎‎

"I know they were not 100 per cent satisfied with ‎the new election laws, but they must realise that ‎if they insisted that things should always be ‎perfect there would be no need to move a step ‎beyond them," El-Sisi said, also expressing ‎hopes that the political parties "will be able to ‎forge strong electoral alliances capable of ‎creating a powerful and vibrant parliament at the ‎end."‎

Officials from political parties said that ‎although their anticipated meeting with El-Sisi "came late", it will be a good chance to ‎exchange views on the country's political and ‎democratic future.

"We were surprised and even ‎disappointed that El-Sisi was keen to meet with ‎all sectors of society, including media ‎representatives, whom he met more than once, ‎but he always declined to meet with the country's ‎political leaders," said Sadat.‎

Meeting objective 

Political parties, however, differed over the ‎objective of the meeting.

Sadat said: "As far as I ‎understand from the invitation, the president has ‎worked out an agenda he wants to discuss with ‎political leaders, but I hope that this agenda will ‎be open so as not to be confined to the ‎upcoming parliamentary polls or the battle ‎against terrorism."

He added: "It should rather extend to ‎include other local sensitive issues such as ‎the reshuffle of provincial governors, and the protest ‎and NGOs laws. I ‎also hope that such meetings will be ‎held on a regular basis and then evolve into a ‎kind of national dialogue."‎

‎“We have a lot to demands. However, I don’t think ‎that a meeting with this number of attendants ‎and political backgrounds and interests would ‎actually reach a concrete conclusion,” said ‎Dawood.‎

Sources said the invitation was extended to most ‎political parties, including the ones which have ‎been vocal in criticising El-Sisi since he came to ‎office in June 2014 .

These include a mix of ‎revolutionary liberal and leftist parties, such as ‎the Constitution Party, founded by high-profile ex-UN diplomat ‎Mohamed ElBaradei. ‎

The Strong Egypt Party, headed by former Muslim ‎Brotherhood figure Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, ‎was also invited.‎

The ‎Constitution Party has sternly criticised Egypt's new ‎election laws, insisting that they will ‎lead to the resurrection of Mubarak's defunct ‎ruling party and help them dominate political life ‎again. They asked El-Sisi several times for a ‎dialogue on the election laws.‎

The Constitution Party ‎has not yet announced its final position over whether to participate in the elections. 

Younis Makhyoun, chairman of the ‎ultraconservative Salafist Al-Nour Party, said ‎he is keen to join the meeting with El-Sisi after ‎the president's office extended him an ‎invitation Sunday.

The Salafist party, which is ‎not on good terms with most liberal and leftist ‎parties even though it is the only Islamist party ‎that supported the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood leader and former president Morsi, earlier announced that it will run for ‎election in all seats.‎

Hossam Al-Khouli, spokesman for the Wafd ‎Party, said the party's chairman Al-Sayed Al-‎Badawi was “on top of the list of invitees.” ‎‎

"Members of the Egyptian Al-Wafd electoral ‎alliance were invited and they will attend the ‎meeting with El-Sisi," said Al-Khouli.‎

The Wafd alliance includes the Wafd Party, the ‎Egyptian Social Democratic Party led by ‎Mohamed Abul-Ghar, the Reform and ‎Development Party led by Al-Sadat, the ‎Conservative Party led by Akmal Qortam, and ‎the Awareness Party led by chairman of Ahly ‎Sporting Club Mahmoud Taher.‎

Yehia Qadri, deputy chairman of the National ‎Movement Party, said leaders of the Egyptian ‎Front electoral alliance, of which his party is a ‎member, would attend the meeting with El-Sisi ‎after they received invitations Sunday. ‎‎

"As far as I understand, President El-Sisi wants ‎to discuss a certain agenda with political leaders ‎and I hope the meeting will be fruitful," said ‎Qadri.‎

Nabil Zaki, spokesman for the leftist ‎Tagammu Party, said El-Sisi's invitation was a ‎progressive step. "El-Sisi should realise that ‎political stability in Egypt will never be complete ‎without serious dialogue with all political ‎factions, relinquishing Mubarak-style rule ‎that was based on monopolising power and ‎marginalising secular political forces."‎

"I hope that he meeting was ‎not designed in advance to include a fixed ‎agenda. I also share those who want the ‎meeting to be open, aiming to put all political ‎issues on the table, especially as it comes ‎before the parliamentary polls."‎

Zaki said El-Sisi's insistence that he will not set ‎up his own political party is a good sign. "He ‎must know that the people revolted in 2011 not ‎only to remove Mubarak from office and prevent hereditary rule by his son Gamal, but also to ‎get rid of what used to be called 'the president's ‎own party,' the former National Democratic ‎Party," he said.‎

Mohamed Abu-Ghar, chairman of the Egyptian ‎Social Democratic Party, said as far as he ‎knows, “there is no fixed agenda for the (El-Sisi) ‎meeting." ‎

"The Egyptian Wafd coalition will ‎hold a meeting Sunday to prepare an agenda ‎for discussion with El-Sisi. The president should ‎give guarantees that the upcoming parliamentary ‎polls will be held in an atmosphere of integrity ‎and transparency."‎

El-Sisi's anticipated meeting with political ‎leaders Monday comes a few days after ‎Egypt's Higher Electoral Commission (HEC) ‎announced that the country's long-delayed ‎parliamentary polls will be held in March.

‎The commission announced 8 January that ‎the two-stage polls will finally kick off on 21 ‎March and end on 7 May.‎

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Hani Azzam
12-01-2015 12:46pm
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1+
stupidity snd impetuity
Meeting with insignificant parties while ignoring the real political forces in Egypt is an expression of stupidity and imptuity. There is only one credible political force in Egypt, namely the MuslimBrotherhood.
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4



Assad
12-01-2015 07:47am
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227+
President Sisi is Egypt's Hero
President Sisi is to be applauded and congratulated for his endeavours to pull egypt out of the gutter. Yes I am sorry to Say Egypt "the mother of the world" was dragged into the gutter under Morsi and the Muslim brotherhood. Egyptians need to reflect on "where would egypt be today if the Army did not step in and remove Morsi and the terrorist Brotherhood"? Egypt would have been taken back to the dark ages. I don't think many egyptians understand the significance of the removal of Morsi and the brotherhood. In fact it is an offence to Islam to call them the Muslim Brotherhood, they should be called the satanic Brotherhood and perverters of Islam. All terrorist organisations spawned from the ideology, example and mindset of the Satanic brotherhood. Every single member of the brotherhood should be sentenced to death, it is a waste of money and effort to keep them alive and feed them. These people have a lot to answer for and they should be made examples of. President Sisi, GOD BLESS YOU, you are Egypt's hero, every egyptian irrespective of faith salutes and thanks you for saving egypt. God willing one day I may be blessed to meet you and shake your hand. President Sisi is a Leader not a sheep, the world is now looking at him as the leader that will save islam from been tarnished any further, he is setting the example for other world leaders to follow. Obama is a disgrace and we in the west are aware he still defends the Muslim Brotherhood. Hail Sisi, God protect the blessed land of egypt.
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3



Allen
12-01-2015 05:27am
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110+
Good job
Building bridges, with reliable civil groups in a hostile world. Can't get any more sensible then that.
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2



Neo
11-01-2015 08:12pm
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328+
All the right moves
Every now and then a new leader emerges from the ashes of dictatorships and injustice in a country. This man is making all the right moves so far: reconciliation with the Christians, meeting with Jewish leaders, talking about the economy, meeting with the Youth, and now meeting with other Parties. Could we give him the benefits of the doubt? And more importantly SUPPORT, to take the county forward.
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khan
11-01-2015 07:24pm
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413+
fraud
sisi have a blood in his hand .he is not egypt presidend he send by isreal and usa .he mess uop egypt .he divide egypt by al baradie dollors
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Aly Sadek
12-01-2015 12:36am
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131+
Egypt...
.. YOU SHOULD GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND EDUCATE YOURSELF....SO THAT YOU'LL BECOME MORE CIVILIZED......GOT IT..???.....PLEASE DO THAT.
Allen
11-01-2015 11:30pm
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57+
Shakespeare
You are severally stuck in your Muslim brotherhood ailment. Not to mention agonizing level of illiteracy.
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