Presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi announces support for elections-first

Ahram Online , Saturday 16 Jul 2011

Potential presidential candidate Sabbahi delivered statements in agreement with the referendum decision to hold parliamentary elections before drafting a constitution

Hamdeen Sabbahi, head of the Al-Karama (dignity) political party and potential presidential candidate, has declared his support for running parliamentary elections prior to drafting a new constitution for the country, a debate many Egyptians have come to fixate on in the months of uncertainty dragging on after the January 25 Revolution. Justifying his stance, Sabbahi called for elections first as means of “respecting the results of the referendum in order to get through this critical phase.” He added that a proposed document that would set principles for selecting the drafting committee for a new constitution is a rational solution that should “reassure the hearts of everyone.”

Sabbahi voiced his position in a public conference held today in the governorate of Al-Sharqiyya. The conference has focused on various issues concerning the circumstances of Egypt’s political predicament. Prominent issues include the provision of “urgent, public and fair” trials for those involved in slaughtering protestors, ending military trials, and an effective return of police forces, as well as forming a new coalition government that would “reflect the spirit of the revolution.”

In a further statement during the conference, Sabbahi said that he wants to build the third republic in Egypt’s history on three basic foundations: “democracy and preservation of freedoms,” “equality in social and economic rights” and “independence of political decision.” He has reiterated the importance of the separation of authorities, as well as the formal accountability of the future president to the parliament and public opinion, which he says should be stipulated in legislation as currently a president’s appearance before parliament is not permitted.


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