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Egypt’s Youth Coalition calls for a protest to “Save the Revolution”

After giving the military time to meet the demands of the 25 January Revolution, Youth Coalition members say it is time now to return to the streets

Ekram Ibrahim , Friday 1 Apr 2011
Tahrir Square
Egyptians shout slogans as they carry national flags and banners that read in Arabic "No", left, during a rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square (Photo: AP)
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In response to questions asked about the youth of the Egyptian revolution, the 25 January Revolution Youth Coalition apologised in a press conference today for its relative absence from the political scene, promised to do better from now on, and called for a protest tomorrow to “save the revolution”.

Some political forces have already announced that they will be focused on “Orphans Day”, which also falls tomorrow. The Youth Coalition announced that they will be in Tahrir Square nonetheless and asked others to join them.

“We were silent for a while to give a chance for the revolution;s demands be met, and also answering some Egyptians’ calls for stability,” Mohamed Abbass, a member of the Youth Coalition told Ahram Online.

The coalition has two roles: to ensure fulfilment of the demands of the revolution, and to participate in the formation of the new political scene in Egypt. While pursuing the first duty, the Youth Coalition "had so many meetings which prevented us from communicating with the street," according to Nasser Abdel Hamid, member of the Youth Coalition.

Meanwhile, the Youth Coalition announced its refusal to participate yesterday in the national dialogue panel held by the cabinet under the supervision of Deputy Prime Minister Yehia El-Gamal. “There was neither an agenda or goals for the discussion, they informed us too late, in addition to our objection to some figures (who were participants),” said Khaled El-Said, member of the Youth Coalition. 

The coalition objects on the participation of Hossam El-Badrawy, former member of the National Democratic Party (NDP). They also explained that their absence is being used as pressure so that the demands of the revolution are met. “We wont sit and talk for the sake of talking, we need an action plan," El-Said stated. 

The absence of the Youth Coalition has raised concern because the dialogue had no young figures in it. “We are not refusing to be part of the national dialogue, but we object to the way (it is being conducted),” El-Said added.

The coalition is also worried about the Egyptian cabinet's position on military tribunals applied on civilians. “Thugs and protesters get military prosecutions and those who plundered Egypt get civil ones,” said El-Said. 

Regarding the Interim Constitutional Declaration announced yesterday by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the coalition voiced their concerns about keeping the 50 per cent peasants and workers quota in parliament, keeping the women quota, and keeping neighborhood committees based on NDP members. The coalition is also sceptical that no article mentions the new syndicates being formed that will help build a democratic culture in Egypt. 

Coalition members also discussed their concerns about keeping articles in the constitution that gives sweeping powers to the incoming president. "The attitude of both the cabinet and the military will force people to go back to the street,” said Mustafa Shawky, member of the Youth Coalition. “We didn’t have a red line while dealing with the corrupt old regime, accordingly we wont have one when it comes to unfairness or torture or failing the revolution,” said Abbass.

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