Political powers say no National Dialogue among NDP members
Ahram Online, MENA, Sunday 22 May 2011
The Revolution Youths stated they have no intention of withdrawing from the ‎National Dialogue


The heavy presence of former members of the ‎now-dismantled ‎National Democratic Party ‎and old regime figures has evidently marred the opening session of the National ‎Dialogue, stirring up controversy across the political spectrum.‎

Some youths took the podium and called for the departure of the ex-‎‎NDP members, ‎chanting: “We do not want the [National Democratic] Party, even if we will be shot ‎with ‎‎bullets for saying so.” They objected to the presence of figures such as controversial lawyer Mortada Mansour, ‎veteran TV presenter Mofid Fawzi and Ghad Party president Mousa Mostafa Mousa.‎

Islamic preacher Safwat Hegazi asked the NDP figures to leave in order for the ‎session, ‎‎held at the Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Centre, to continue ‎‎‎without disturbance.‎ They agreed to depart but left the session in disarray.‎

Several political movements also left, including the April 6 Youth Movement and ‎the January 25 Revolution Youth ‎‎Coalition.‎

Ahmed Maher, founder and general coordinator of April 6 Youth Movement, told ‎Ahram ‎Online: “We withdrew due to the lack of organization and because the same ‎old methods were being applied in the National ‎Dialogue, which will get us nowhere.‎

Khaled Tellema, member of the January 25 Revolution Youth ‎Coalition, said: “‎It's ‎completely inappropriate to see people who tried to kill us in the same room—the NDP ‎members and former disciples of the old regime. They know themselves.”‎

He also criticized interim Prime Minister Essam Sharaf: "He promised that no ‎more laws would be introduced without discussion with political forces after the ‎new parties law and the legislation that penalize sit-ins, but then a new political ‎parties law was suddenly enacted."‎

On the other hand, the Revolution Youths said they would not boycott the National ‎‎Dialogue, although ‎‎they condemned the presence of former ‎members ‎of the National ‎Democratic Party.‎

Amr Hamzawy, head of the yet-to-be-launched party Misr Al-Horreya (Freedom ‎‎‎‎Egypt), was disgruntled with the chaos in the opening session of ‎‎the ‎‎National ‎Dialogue. ‎ ‎He said during the session: “We don’t want the dialogue that Egypt has been ‎‎‎‎waiting ‎for to turn into a chaotic event.”‎ ‎
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‎“If there is a mistake we can fix it. A committee will be immediately formed to look at ‎‎‎‎the ‎list of attendees and prevent this mistake from happening again.‎ ‎
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‎“We need to focus on the dialogue itself and not become distracted by meaningless ‎‎‎‎‎arguments.”‎ ‎
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The National Dialogue is designed to be a dialogue between a loose coalition of political ‎‎‎‎groups ‎and the interim government. It is conducted by former Prime Minister, Abdel ‎‎‎‎‎‎Aziz Hegazi.‎



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