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Political forces support extended state of emergency: Presidency

Presidential spokesman details Sunday meeting between interim president and political forces, emphasises need for 'accountability before reconciliation'

Ahram Online , Sunday 15 Sep 2013
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Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour (Photo: AP)
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Representatives from a number of political parties have pledged their full support for interim President Adly Mansour's decision to extend Egypt's state of emergency by two months, presidential spokesman Ihab Badawy said in a press conference Sunday.

The press conference came after a meeting between the interim president and party representatives aimed at engaging in continuous national dialogue.

Badawy said there was unanimous agreement amongst attendees that Egypt's political conditions will improve only once the security situation is stabilised.

However, attendees also brought up concerns about abusive use of the state of emergency, calling on Mansour to investigate and ensure that violations do not reoccur.

Interim President Mansour extended the state of emergency – originally slated for one month – for an additional two months on Thursday.

According to the constitutional declaration issued by Mansour on 8 July, a state of emergency can be activated for a maximum of three months. Any further extension would require the public's approval through a national referendum.

Parties that were reportedly in attendance at the Sunday meeting include the Salafist Nour Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, the Tagammu Party, the Free Egyptians Party, the Rebel movement, the Constitution Party, the Democratic Front Party, the Free Egyptians Party, and the Conference Party, amongst others.

The political roadmap was discussed during the meeting, as well as issues related to amending the constitution and presidential and parliamentary elections, Badawi confirmed.

Badawi emphasised that all political currents were included in Sunday's meeting, highlighting Islamist participation by way of the Nour Party. However, Badawi also mentioned a "near consensus" amongst attendees that there can be "no reconciliation without accountability."

The Muslim Brotherhood – which dominated the previous parliament and constituent assembly – has not taken part in the transitional roadmap, viewing it as 'illegitimate.' The Islamist group's top leaders have been charged with inciting to kill their opponents and are currently facing trial.

Badawi also announced that the president had received a letter signed by over 55 public figures condemning recent sectarian attacks in Delga, a village in the governorate of Minya.

Clashes first erupted in Minya following the police's bloody dispersal of two pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo and Giza on 14 August. The violence between the deposed president's supporters and the police left at least 41 dead, six of whom were police.

Churches were then attacked, and some torched, during a perceived security void.

The letter condemned Minya's "bad security situation," calling on the president to increase security forces in the area.

Throughout the press conference, Badawi repeatedly recounted the president's hopes that the coming period will be marked by dialogue and improved security, rather than by violence.  

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