Egyptian Leftists see Mubarak regime still in power

Ahram Online, Thursday 15 Sep 2011

Gathered in Mansoura, Egyptian leftists warn that the aims of the January revolution have not been achieved, pointing to the reinstating of emergency law and attacks on strikes and protests

A plethora of leftist political parties and movements held a mass conference yesterday in the governorate of Mansoura under the slogan “Leftists and the future of Egypt.”

During the conference, the leftists announced that the January 25 Revolution is far from over and to this day it has only succeeded in stopping the inheritance of power from ousted president Hosni Mubarak to his younger son Gamal.

The group also expressed their solidarity with the demands of Egyptian workers and their strikes that have been rocking Egypt since Mubarak was deposed in February.

Among the leftist groups who participated in the conference are the Popular Alliance Socialist Party, the Workers Democratic Party, the Socialist Party and the Egyptian Communist Party.

During the conference, the groups sharply criticised the military council and the way it is leading the transitional period in Egypt.

“The military council is following the steps of the old [Mubarak] regime and the biggest evidence of this is what happened at the Israeli embassy and with the reactivation of emergency law, and application of a media gag to terrorise journalists,” said Ahmed Bahaa El-Din Shaaban of the Socialist Party. “The only achievement the revolution has made is that it stopped the inheritance of power, but Mubarak and his men are still here.”

Shaaban said that there are many goals yet to be met for the revolution to be completed, adding that the biggest challenge the revolutionaries currently face is the reactivation of emergency law. He also slammed the government’s lack of response to the murder of six Egyptian soldiers on the borders with Israel and its refusal to recall the Egyptian ambassador from Israel.

Shaaban also wondered why Egyptian authorities punish Egyptian workers for demanding their rights in fair pay but at the same time gave bonuses to police officers in June, even though they have not been performing their duties.

Khaled Abdel Hameed, of the Popular Alliance Party, said he is still optimistic that the Egyptian revolution can gain momentum again. He said that when the military council announced that emergency law would be reactivated, 60,000 Egyptian teachers took to the streets and blocked Kasr El-Aini Street in downtown Cairo to defend their demands for better wages, and that this was the best public response to the council’s decision.

Naser Abdel Rahman, of the Worker’s Democratic Party, added during the conference that attacks on strikes and protests held by Egyptian workers nationwide are a last ditch attempt by the Mubarak regime to stay in power.

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