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36 Egyptian political parties, movements call for 9 Feb parliament sit-in

Political groups give People's Assembly 10 days to meet demands for early presidential polls, prosecution of protesters' killers

Ahram Online, Samir El-Sayed, Tuesday 31 Jan 2012
Cabinet protests
A protester flashes a victory sign in front of a line of army soldiers near the cabinet during December's clashes after the army dispersed a sit-in(File Photo: Reuters)
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Views: 2666

A group of 36 political parties and movements have announced plans to launch an open-ended sit-in outside Egypt's People's Assembly on 9 February in the event that the newly-elected parliament fails to meet their demands for early presidential elections and the prosecution of those found responsible for killing unarmed political protesters.

The group of parties and movements, which have dubbed the initiative "One Demand Saturday," are calling on parliament to begin accepting presidential nominations on 11 February so as to produce an elected president within 60 days of that date.

On Tuesday, hundreds took part in protest marches from various districts of the capital to the People's Assembly in hopes of ratcheting up pressure on the Islamist-led parliament to adopt the initiative. In the afternoon, hundreds of activists set out from Cairo University, Cairo's Maspero district and the nearby Saad Zaghloul Mausoleum towards the People's Assembly.

The assembly, meanwhile, convened on Tuesday in the presence of Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri and other ministers, including Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim.

Egypt's ruling military council, however, appears insistent on holding presidential elections in June as scheduled, following the drafting of a new constitution.  Revolutionary political forces, for their part, have challenged the military's stance on the issue, pressing instead for early presidential polls with the stated aim of preventing the military's domination over the drafting process.

Signatories to the initiative include the Coalition of Revolutionary Forces, the April 6 youth movement (Democratic Front), the Revolutionary Youth Coalition, the Revolutionary Youth Union, the Kazaboon ("Liars") campaign, the Maspero Youth Union, the Popular Movement for the Independence of Al-Azhar, the Maspero Media Revolutionaries, and the Revolutionary Socialists.

Political parties that support the appeal include the liberal Egypt Freedom Party founded by MP Amr Hamzawy, the moderate-Islamist Wasat Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, and the Egyptian Current Party.

In a related development, the National Association for Change (NAC) reform movement announced another initiative on Tuesday that calls for the election of an interim president – who would only serve for a one-year term –within two months of 11 February. The NAC initiative also calls for the dismantlement of the Shura Council (the upper, consultative house of Egypt's parliament) and the cancellation of ongoing Shura polls with the aim of speeding up the transitional phase.

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31-01-2012 09:36pm
Is all you have demands and ultimatums?
It seems to me that those protesters forgot the basic goals of the revolution. They seem to be sidetracked into useless and often destructive protests and demonstrations. This is not the way to rebuild a democratic and economically and politically strong Egypt. They attack anyone who differs with them (SCAF, Cabinet, the elected Parliament, Ministry of Interior, any other political groups- such as El-Horreyah and Justice). They do not offer any positive contributions to successfully complete the transition period and establish the new democratic institutions and bases. They can demonstrate and voice their opposition peacefully. Unfortunately, they seem to represent some kind of new dictatorship. They block the street, they want the exclusive rights to do what they want with Meidan El-Tahrir and any streets. To them, they are the only group that is right. I should say that if you are not part of the solution, you are the major part of the problem. I think it is time that enoug
Comment's Title
01-02-2012 10:39am
Sir, with respect your comment echoes 100% comments made about Tahrit Square protesters by the Mubarak regime prior to it's ousting one year ago. Nothing changes. One dictatorial mindset replaced by another.

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