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ElBaradei to announce his platform
Campaign to support ElBaradei plans future action

ElBaradei to announce his platform

Mohamed ElBaradei held his first meeting yesterday with members of his National Association for Change, a broad opposition coalition pushing for pro-democracy constitutional reforms. The aim of the meeting was to plan future action.

The delegation included prominent novelist Alaa el-Aswany and Dr. Mohamed Ghoneim, a pioneer in kidney transplants in the Middle East.

Dr. Mohamed Abul Ghar, a leader in the association, said that ElBaradei will announce his platform and vision for the association within the next two days. Abul Ghar suggested that ElBaradei talk directly to the press to avoid any misunderstanding, and also to be in direct contact with the public.

ElBaradei, who is the former head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, has suggested that he may run for the presidency if elections are free and fair.

Members from the National Association for Change held a ceremony to mark the start of their signature campaign in Sharqia Governorate at the headquarters of the Democratic Front Party in Zagazig. The association is trying to collect signatures of Egyptians who support constitutional reforms that would open up the presidential election to more candidates.

Mohamed Harsh, founder of Wafdists Against Power Inheritance, urged ElBaradei to hold a conference in Sharqia, saying that ElBaradie's popularity is growing and his supporters in the governorate have reached around 100,000.

A number of members from the National Association for Change--including MP Hamdein Sabbahi, Abdel Gelil Mostafa, George Ishaq, Amin Eskandar and brotherhood MP Mohamed el-Beltagui--held a consultation meeting two days ago at the Karama Party headquarters where they agreed to propose the formation of a 50-member secretariat for the association when they meet with ElBaradei.

In a related development, Osama el-Ghazali Harb, president of the Democratic Front Party, said ElBaradei will not run in the upcoming presidential election if Articles 77 and 88 of the Constitution aren't amended.During a seminar two days ago, Harb called for an independent committee to administer the elections to be set up.

Campaign to support ElBaradei plans future action

Former UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei, left, is accompanied by Amr Moussa, Secretary general...

Members of the Popular Campaign to support Mohamed ElBaradei will meet him this week to present their action plan for the coming period, said Abdel Monem Imam, member of the decision-making committee of the campaign. The meeting, Imam said, will focus on the campaign's role during the legislativative and presidential elections.

Imam said the campaign will also propose the nomination of some members of the campaign to run in the parliamentary elections.

A meeting between ElBaradei and members of the campaign in the governorates of Egypt will be arranged, according to Imam. The meeting will likely be held at ElBaradei's home to avoid any clashes with security forces.

Imam said the campaign is currently made up of three groups, in Gharbiya, Daqahlia and Alexandria, with a fourth being formed in Beheira. ElBaradei's petition has so far been signed by 9000 people.

In a related development, ElBaradei returned to Egypt on the same day that Hassan Nafaa, general coordinator for the National Association for Change, traveled outside the country, preventing communication between ElBaradei and members of the association.

Meanwhile, Mamdouh Qenawi, president of the Free Constitutional Party, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that he had been unable to contact ElBaradei and so phoned his brother Ali and his sister Laila instead. Qenawi said he wanted to complain about what he described as Hassan Nafaa's "mismanagement" of the association. Qenawi further threatened to withdraw from the association if Nafaa continued to "take decisions individually."

"I will wait for a call from ElBaradei," he said.

A number of leftist activists announced they are forming a leftist platform to support the reform demands and nomination of ElBaradei. They said ElBaradei's declarations are in line with the objectives of the left.

Parties consider stance on ElBaradei

The Wafd Party's Supreme Authority decided yesterday not to enter into dialogue with ElBaradei, former head of the IAEA and potential presidential contender, unless he first approaches the party.

In a related development, the Tagammu Party's political committee will meet today to determine the party's stance on ElBaradei. The meeting will also look at ways to coordinate action with the National Association for Change established by ElBaradei before he recently traveled outside Egypt.

The decision to hold the meeting came after the party's secretariats in Cairo, Giza and other governorates distributed statements announcing to party members their support for ElBaradei.

Sayyed Abdel Aal, Tagammu's secretary general, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the statements represented the personal viewpoint of "some members", and added that discussions between party members and leaders concerning ElBaradei should reach a final conclusion in today's meeting.

Meanwhile, the National Campaign to Support ElBaradei announced that it will soon prove wrong all those who have attempted to cast aspersions on the patriotism of ElBaradei. It added that those making false allegations are driven by a desire to please state officials and seize more parliamentary seats in the upcoming legislative elections.

The 6th April Youth Movement decided yesterday to work with legal experts to examine the obstacles faced by both their own movement and the National Association for Change in gathering signatures from different governorates, especially given that neither movement is licensed or authorized to do so. The movement fears that lawyers for the National Democratic Party might challenge the constitutionality of the proxies they intend to collect.

The Ayez Haqqi Movement has issued a statement urging citizens to sign popular proxies endorsing ElBaradei.

The Alliance of Egyptian Americans (AEA) in the United States has announced that it fully supports ElBaradei's demands. Mahmoud el-Shazly, head of the AEA, said he intends to send a letter to the interior minister and a letter to the Egyptian Ambassador in Washington DC to urge them both to allow expatriate Egyptians to vote in the elections..

ElBaradei gets down to business

Mohamed ElBaradei, former Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a...

Perhaps it’s fitting that Mohamed ElBaradei’s most recent arrival in Egypt was an almost polar opposite of his previous visit. This time, there were no flag-waving crowds at the airport, and no wall-to-wall media coverage. The 67-year-old former International Atomic Energy Agency chief seemed to want it that way—refusing to announce the date of his arrival.

This low-key return over the weekend seemed to symbolize a new business-like mindset in the ElBaradei camp. After his high-profile, whirlwind visit in February, during which he toured the nation’s talk shows and turned his villa on the edge of Cairo into a salon for Egyptian political forces, ElBaradei and his supporters are now settling into the ground-level work of turning his media momentum into reality.

For starters, that means a nationwide signature campaign, gathering support for his National Association for Change and their campaign to rewrite the way politics in Egypt is conducted.

“All the Egyptian people are in motion. We’re not having a hard time finding volunteers,” said Abdel Rahman Youssef, a young ElBaradei organizer. “Right now our main focus is on gathering signatures.”

The signature campaign centers around the National Association for Change’s seven-point list of demands for reform. These include ending the longstanding state of emergency, establishing polling supervision by both local judges and international monitors, allowing Egyptian expatriates abroad to vote, setting presidential term limits, and eliminating official obstacles to an independent presidential candidacy.

All told, these changes would require amendments to three separate articles of the Constitution.

It’s probably too early to judge just how the ElBaradei campaign is doing. But the next few weeks should provide crucial insight into some of the obstacles he’s bound to face in translating his momentum into grassroots political power.

Topping that list of obstacles is the fact that operating on a street-level in Egypt puts ElBaradei (or at least his supporters) within reach of the long-arm of the regime. Already there have been scattered reports of ElBaradei supporters being detained and intimidated by police and security forces.

On a political level, ElBaradei faces an immediate question that could have a long-ranging impact: Should he try to create an inclusive political umbrella that brings in established opposition political parties, or should he ignore the established parties entirely, because they are part of the dysfunctional pseudo-democratic façade he aims to demolish?

“In the eyes of the public, the opposition parties—except in very rare cases—do not represent a radical alternative to the ruling party," said Walid Kazziha, an professor of political science at the American University in Cairo. “They’re part of the system and they lend themselves to manipulation by the regime.”

Already, at least according to media reports, attempts to bring established parties into the coalition have been fraught with drama. Al-Masry Al-Youm reported last week that some leftist parties objected to the inclusion of representatives from the banned but still strong Muslim Brotherhood. Other reports have stated that venerable opposition parties like the Wafd Party are openly split on how to deal with ElBaradei, and allegations have circulated that some elements of the Wafd leadership favor striking a deal with the ruling National Democratic Party in return for a guaranteed portion of parliament seats.

“There is something new in ElBaradei. There is something fresh to what he is suggesting. It’s not clear that he will benefit from a coalition of established parties,” Kazziha said.

 Egypt will have to wait and see.

 Translated from the Arabic Edition.

 More information about  Mohamed ElBaradei click on the link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_ElBaradei#Family

Note: You can be part of it.

I am sure you have been following the inspiring news from Egypt about Elbaradei's and his call for change. This looks like it will be it. There is a big chance that our dream of a free and just Egypt is coming true.   

collect signatures in persons where Egyptians gather, and send back your signed (and scanned) copy and others' by email to unitedforegypt@gmail.com or by mail to:

Coalition of Egyptian Organizations 
P.O.Box – 87362 
Montgomery Village, MD 20886-7362

 


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