Egypt's Morsi assures National Front he will live up to their deal

Ahram Online, Tuesday 31 Jul 2012

Morsi reassures the National Front for Protecting the Revolution - which is angry the president hasn't kept his six promises that earned him their vote, he will deliver

National Front for Protecting the Revolution
File Photo of members of the National Front for Protecting the Revolution at a press conference announcing their assessment of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, 28 July 2012

Members of the National Front for Protecting the Revolution confirm that the recently-inaugurated President Mohamed Morsi showed willingness to meet promises during a Monday meeting.

Their statements come after the group's press conference on 28 July, where they criticised Morsi for ignoring promises he'd made.

The National Front was formed days before the presidential runoff elections in order to leverage more liberal and minority protections in an extremely tough race.

The National Front had iterated their conditions at a conference, together with Morsi, on 22 June. The group, then, supported the Muslim Brotherhood candidate in the runoff elections against the military candidate, Ahmed Shafiq.

A month after the elections, however, members of the National Front made their disappointment in Morsi known (28 July).

A few days later (Monday) Morsi met with the National Front member Seif Abdel-Fattah. Ahmed Imam, another National Front member, attested to Al Ahram Arabic-language news site that Morsi assured that all six conditions would be addressed:

1.      Abiding by the principle of national cooperation and the uniting national project expressing the revolution’s demands and representing all of society, including women, Copts and youths.

2.      Forming a Cabinet and a presidential team that is representative of all the political factions and is headed by an independent national figure.

3.      Forming a crisis management group composed of several National Front members to assist the president during the transition process until a complete handover of power is accomplished.

4.      Flatly refusing the addendum to the Constitutional Declaration, which reduces presidential authorities and flatly refusing the decision of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to dissolve parliament.

5.      Seeking a more balanced and representative Constitutional Declaration that would help guarantee the drafting of a permanent constitution for all Egyptians.

6.      Showing complete transparency with the people on any changes and developments.

Imam stressed to Al Ahram what he believes revolutionary groups should realise regarding the SCAF and the Muslim Brotherhood.

"The SCAF is a threat to the revolution and fear of the Brotherhood should not let people seek salvation in the arms of the military. The Brotherhood should, in turn, hold the nation's interests at the top of their agendas," stated Imam.

Imam further confirmed that the new president has given the group assurances regarding ministries that have raised the alarms of many Egyptians lately, such as those shaping education and academia, including the ministries of information, culture, education, higher education and religious endowments.

Recent news that newly-appointed PM Hisham Qandil maybe choose orthodox Salafist Mohamed Ibrahim as minister of awqaf (religious endowments) has raised much criticism voicing fears that this heralds an imposition of wahabism - a Saudi-based conservative form of Islam.

"If Morsi fails, the only alternative left will be the SCAF," added Imam defending the National Front's choice to continue supporting the new president.

The National Front is made up of prominent writer Alaa Al-Aswany; columnist Wael Qandeel; nationalist opposition figure Hamdi Qandeel; media figure Sekina Fouad; academic and political figure Heba Raouf; activist Wael Khalil; activist Wael Ghoneim; founder of the National Association for Change (NAC) Abdel-Gelil Mostafa; independent activist Ahmed Imam; political thinker Hassan Nafaa; the April 6 Youth Movement; the Egyptian Current Party as well as Brotherhood leading member Mohamed El-Beltagi, among others.

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