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National Association for Change also rejects recent deal with military council

National Association for Change says Saturday agreement between 13 political parties and ruling council will have 'adverse effect' on nation

Ahram Online, Monday 3 Oct 2011
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The National Association for Change (NAC) reform movement on Sunday announced its rejection of a deal reached one day earlier between Egypt’s ruling military council and 13 political parties.

In a statement issued Sunday, the NAC said the signed agreement did not reflect the demands of the revolution and called on the Egyptian people “not to fall prey to this deception, which doesn’t benefit the public but only realises small gains instead of those that would actually benefit the nation.”

The deal between the parties and the military council, signed on Saturday, covers several controversial issues to emerge during the current transitional period, including the recent reactivation of the emergency law, recent amendments to the electoral law and the ongoing practice of trying civilians before military courts.

The NAC statement reiterated the association’s core demands, including guarantees that Egypt become a modern civil state that respects the principle of equal citizenship; the announcement of a timetable for the transfer of power to a elected, civil authority; the cancelation of the emergency law; and the abolition of military trials for civilians.

Demands also included the purge of state institutions - especially security agencies, universities and the media - of all members of the former Mubarak regime, and a five-year ban on political participation by all former members of the now-defunct National Democratic Party.

NAC was formed in 2010 as an umbrella group of liberal and Brotherhood activists to coordinate opposition against Mubarak's rule.

The NAC further demanded changes to the current electoral law to ensure that former regime elements do not re-enter parliament through a mixed voting system; that Egyptians living abroad be allowed to vote in national elections; and that no licenses be granted to political parties established on the basis of religion.

The NAC also wants a ban on the use of religiously-themed electoral slogans in the run-up to upcoming polls and a spending cap on parties’ campaign funding. The association also demanded that the government, along with police, take steps to ensure public safety and set a national maximum wage to ensure social justice.

The NAC statement concluded by asserting that the political forces that signed the Saturday agreement had effectively forsaken the rights of the Egyptian people as enshrined in the January 25 revolution. The deal, the association warned, would have an “adverse impact” on the nation and would lead to tensions between the parties that signed it and the rest of the country’s political forces.

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