Student delegation to explain withdrawal from meeting with parliament head

Ahram Online , Wednesday 22 Feb 2012

At Wednesday press conference, student delegation members will explain their last-minute decision to pull out from Tuesday's scheduled meeting with parliament speaker

student march
Student protest in Cairo University on Tuesday 21 February (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

 A delegation of Egyptian university students will hold a press conference on Wednesday at the Cairo offices of independent daily Al-Shorouk to explain its last-minute withdrawal from a scheduled meeting on Tuesday with Parliament Speaker Mohamed El-Katatni.

The delegation, consisting of students of varying political stripes from several Cairo universities, had been slated to meet with El-Katatni on Tuesday afternoon following its members’ participation in a protest march to the parliament building. Delegation members cancelled the meeting, however, after a number of MPs allegedly attempted to bring additional students into the scheduled meeting.

According to delegation member Halim Heneish, a handful of MPs affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party brought in a number of students – who were unknown to delegation members – who they attempted to merge with the delegation in advance of the meeting.

Heneish said that he recognised two of the students in question, who, he alleged, had belonged to student unions previously controlled by ousted president Hosni Mubarak's now-defunct National Democratic Party.

On Tuesday, roughly one thousand university students marched from Cairo University to the parliament building in downtown Cairo, answering calls for nationwide rallies commemorating the 66th anniversary of Egypt's 1946 student/workers uprising against the British occupation.

The student delegation, scheduled to meet El-Katatni upon its arrival to parliament, had hoped to discuss with the parliament speaker the possibility of involving student representatives in the process of drafting a new national constitution. 

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