Ayman Nour, former presidential candidate and head of the Ghad party, said earlier today that he is happy the government will start taking the recently formed opposition shadow parliament seriously.
The statement was in reaction to President Mubarak’s comment in parliament yesterday that the “shadow parliament is only good for the entertainment of its members."
Nour added to Ahram Online that, “Politics has taught us that what one takes lightly can prove very difficult in the future,” arguing that the future role of the alternative parliament will be to push for its eventual recognition. He also noted that the president's comment is proof that, “What we do occupies the minds of the country’s political leadership.”
Nour claimed that the elections of the Shura Council and the People's Assembly had been rigged. "They left us no official democratic gateway," he said, "so we had to create an alternative path for ourselves."
The plan to create Egypt's first shadow parliament was announced when several opposition MPs demonstrated on the stairs of the State Council earlier this month on 13 December. The decision came in response to what the opposition called “blatant” rigging of the recent parliamentary elections, which saw the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) securing 86 per cent of the parliament’s seats.