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Details emerge about a SCAF 'deal' with parties during Mohamed Mahmoud clashes

Reports after military council met politicians in November suggested issue of how to end Tahrir violence was discussed; it is now revealed schedule of presidential elections and constitution were also on the table

Ahram Online, Tuesday 10 Jan 2012
Mohamed Selim El-Awa (Photo:Reuters)

According to presidential hopeful Islamist thinker Mohamed Selim El-Awa members of the ruling military council met with a number of party-representatives in November and agreed that presidential elections be held after and not before drafting the new constitution.

The meeting was held in the midst of the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes in which at least 40 protesters were killed and hundreds injured. At the time it was reported that at the meeting the question of martyrs and how to bring the clashes to an end were discussed.

In a recorded interview with BBC Arabic channel to be aired in the next few days, El-Awa said that a number of military council members held a meeting on 22 November with representatives of certain liberal and Islamist parties, during which it was “agreed” that presidential elections be held after and not before the drafting of the new constitution.

This interview would reveal that scheduling of presidential elections and drafting of the constitution, not just violent confrontations that were underway at the time, were discussed. At the end of the clashes, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) committed to holding presidential elections by 30 June 2012.

El-Awa said that members of the SCAF led by deputy head of the military council and the army’s chief of staff Sami Anan met with representatives from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Salafist Nour Party, the moderate Islamist Wasat Party, the liberal Wafd Party and the Democratic Front Party.

A group of political activists, journalists, authors and political figures adopted an initiative in December to advocate for bringing presidential elections forward, to be held within 60 days of the revolution’s first anniversary on 25 January 2012, in order to speed up the handover of power to civilian authority.

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