Egypt starts 2nd round of national dialogue to 'determine national priorities'

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Jul 2022

The board of trustees of Egypt's national dialogue started on Tuesday its second round to determine the national priorities and agenda for the upcoming debates

Diaa Rashwan
Diaa Rashwan, chairman of the Press Syndicate and coordinator of the national dialogue, speaks during a press conference held following the first session of the national dialogue on Tuesday 5 July 2022 (photo: The National Dialogue Facebook page)


The debate is taking place at the headquarters of the National Training Academy in Cairo and was attended by members of the Egyptian and foreign press.

The meeting is being run by the 19-member board of trustees and features the participation of a number of political, partisan and syndicate figures from different backgrounds.

It aims to draw up the dialogue's schedule of debates and agenda, with three main committees to be formed to discuss political, economic and social issues.

A press conference on the round’s results is scheduled to be held later Tuesday, according to a statement issued by the board on Monday.

The board, comprised of parliamentarians, journalists, professors, human rights lawyers and officials, is tasked with coordinating the multi-directional and multi-stage dialogue and refer its decisions and proposals to President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

The board held its first meeting on 5 July, where it agreed on the bylaws regulating its work as well as the dialogue's 25-article code of conduct and ethics.

The first meeting also reached a consensus that the dialogue will be open to all political, partisan, and syndicate forces to discuss national priorities, while excluding those who had incited or participated in violent acts.

They also offered assurances that the dialogue agenda will not include discussions over amending the country's constitution.

Diaa Rashwan, chairman of the Press Syndicate and coordinator of the national dialogue, explained that the legitimacy of the government is based on this constitution.

Rashwan also said that the step is part of founding “the new republic,” a new slogan launched by El-Sisi in reference to the country's overhaul effort. 

Rashwan added that El-Sisi has asserted the importance of launching the national dialogue for a modern and civil democratic country.

The dialogue's priorities are not only political, but also economic, sporting and cultural, according to Rashwan.

He noted that the dialogue should yield specific legislative or procedural proposals to be submitted to the president, adding that all proposals submitted within the framework of the dialogue will be taken into consideration without exception.

On 26 April, El-Sisi called for the dialogue during the annual Egyptian Family Iftar banquet, urging all political forces – except for terrorist-designated Muslim Brotherhood group – to participate.

The president promised to attend the final stages of the dialogue.

The dialogue comes amid numerous presidential pardons recently granted to prisoners as well as the release of numerous pretrial detainees.

The releases come in the heels of the reactivation of the Presidential Pardon Committee by the Egyptian president during the April banquet.

More to follow...

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