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Egypt Constitution Party's Shukrallah questions army's involvement with politics

Newly-appointed Constitution Party leader Hala Shukrallah says we must question how army's role will affect democratic process

Ahram Online, Tuesday 25 Feb 2014
Hala Shukrallah
Hala Shukrallah, a 59-year-old Coptic Christian, who is the first woman elected to head an Egyptian political party speaks to The Associated Press during an interview in her house in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 (Photo: AP)
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Hala Shukrallah, the first woman and Coptic Christian to head a political party in Egypt, has said that while her Constitution Party acknowledges the army's role in the removal of former president Mohamed Morsi, the party has "not pledged [unconditional] allegiance to the military."

Shukrallah's comments were delivered on Tuesday in her first press conference since she was appointed the head of the Constitution Party last Friday. She succeeds as party head renowned politician and Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, who founded the party in 2012.

"We want to preserve the Egyptian army as a protector of the nation, especially that it is threatened from different borders such as Libya and Sinai," said Shukrallah.

But that's where the army's role stops, she implied.

"If we appreciate the democratic process, then we must question the implications of the involvement of the military institute in the political sphere, and how it will affect the mechanisms of democracy," Shukrallah said.

In recent months, many supporters of defence minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi have been calling for him to run for Egypt's presidency, a move critics say would be tantamount to military interference in politics.

Last January, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) announced that it had approved of El-Sisi's possible candidacy, calling his entering of politics a "mandate and a duty."

While media rumours have swirled in recent weeks over his apparent candidacy, El-Sisi has not yet officially confirmed his stance.

Egypt's upcoming presidential polls are expected to take place between March and April.

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Samantha Criscione
26-02-2014 12:05pm
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What is Ms. Shukrallah's game?
Baradei left Egypt after a press conference where he attacked the clearing of the Brotherhood terror camps, saying they could have been dispersed without confrontation, a claim he knew was a lie. Discredited by his treachery, has he (and have his German and other foreign sponsors) continued their attempt to undermine the fight against Brotherhood terror by passing Baradei's baton to Shukrallah? Contrary to Shukrallah, the call for Sisi to run does not come from an army overstepping proper limits but from regular people who see he has acted with principle. And contrary to Shukrallah, the army is NOT facing terror from borders with Libya and Sinai (the Sinai BORDER? is she claiming Israel is the problem?), but from the Brotherhood, which is behind terror all over Egypt, not just in Sinai. As a Copt, doesn’t Shukrallah know the Brotherhood has burned down scores of Coptic churches and led MANY murderous attacks on Copts? Does she think those attacks are not terror? --Samantha Criscione
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4



Tim
26-02-2014 03:42am
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Finally a question to what's going on in Egypt
Thumps up or thumps down wouldn't matter, at least one has the guts to question what's going on, and what's the future of democracy in this country, and it happens to be from the crowd a female politician.
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Aladdin, Egypt
25-02-2014 06:21pm
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12+
Sinai War
We are thankful to the army to protect us against inside and outside enemies. Now BH and other fanatics are under control; the army should focus on the outside . Tahya Misr.
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KHOFO, gIZA
25-02-2014 06:17pm
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20+
Dirty Politics
We love our armed forces and we want it clear and free to protect Egypt. There is war against smugglers and criminals in Sinai.
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observer
25-02-2014 04:30pm
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121+
Spot on!
Bravo to Ms. Shukrallah for her spot on assessment of the current situation. It's about time we heard some truth and common sense in this country. She would be my pick for president if she ran in the upcoming election.
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