Egyptian parties unify demands for 'Popular Will and Unity Friday'

Protesters are asked to 'set aside individual demands' and unify for Friday's protest. [Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters]

Protesters are asked to 'set aside individual demands' and unify for Friday's protest. [Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters]

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Following a week of heated public disagreement, a number of rival Egyptian political forces have agreed to participate in the "Popular Will and Unity Friday" demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday (July 29th).

The Revolution Youth Coalition issued a statement Wednesday (July 27th) calling on all political groups to participate in the demonstration by "setting aside individual demands and rallying around the goal of completing the objectives that the January 25th revolution was waged for."

The statement, signed by 20 political movements, said the demonstration's goal is to pressure the current Egyptian leadership to speed up trials of officials involved in killing protestors during the revolution, cease military tribunals of civilians, and set a clear parliamentary and presidential election timetable to ensure the transfer of power to an elected civilian authority as soon as possible.

The statement also rejected the laws governing parliamentary and Shura council elections, the law criminalizing sit-ins, and the party law issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces a few months ago.

The last few days had witnessed sharp disagreement between Islamist forces and the youth movements that are currently holding a sit-in at Tahrir Square over the protesters' demands.

Islamist organisations had called for a protest that they labeled the "Million Man March to Defend Islamic Identity and Popular Will" to oppose the demands of the protesters in Tahrir Square. Leftist forces called for the "Persistence and Unity" march in order to emphatically underscore the sit-in's demands.

According to Assem Abdul Majed, a leader in the Islamic Group, Tahrir Square belongs to not only liberal and leftist groups, but all Egyptians.

During a recent television interview, Majed said his organisation is not the only group opposed to the sit-in that has been underway since July 8th, and that many Egyptians hold reservations about it due to its adverse impact on the economy and security situation.

Fears of clashes between the two rival demonstrations prompted some parties to attempt to coalesce the groups' demands.

The Islamist Wasat Party led the mediation efforts, convening an urgent meeting on Wednesday. Various Islamist and liberal party representatives attended the meeting along with members of the Revolution Youth Coalition. The Muslim Brotherhood and the liberal Wafd party abstained.

Wasat Party chair Abu al-Ala Madi told Al-Shorfa that the representatives who attended the meeting agreed to participate in a demonstration Friday with the objective of unifying ranks and renouncing divisions.

"The principal demands are that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces speed up the implementation of measures ensuring social justice and equal rights of citizens, and activate the process of compensating the families of martyrs," Madi said.

"Political forces are also calling for purging state institutions of the remnants of the former regime and restructuring them, and to put forth any draft laws for community dialogue during the transition phase," he said.

One of the main disagreements between the camps concerns the new constitution; leftist forces want it drafted before the next parliamentary elections, while the Islamist parties want legislative elections held as early as possible.

George Ishak, a leader in the National Assembly for Change, told Al-Shorfa that all political forces must respect each other and have faith in the rules of democracy.

Ishak told Al-Shorfa that "next Friday is the 'Friday of Accord' between the political forces that led the January 25th revolution with the goal of liberating Egypt of Mubarak's regime and building a free democratic state worthy of its history."

He said the protestors must maintain the peaceful nature of the demonstrations and sit-ins despite the risk for flare-ups, such as last week's incident in the al-Abbasiya area of Cairo where a number of demonstrators were attacked while marching to Ministry of Defense headquarters.

Meanwhile, the Revolution Youth Coalition reached an agreement with the Popular Will Front, which represents a number of Salafist youth coalitions, on a set of demands that will be raised in Friday's demonstrations.

The agreement, which was announced on Tuesday, comprises seven demands, including giving full authority to the government to start eradicating administrative and financial corruption, as well as speeding up the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak.

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  • READER COMMENTS

    q

    2011-8-20

    O good-hearted Egyptians, can’t you forgive the man who was once your president? Forget the bad things and remember the good things. You are not like the people of Iraq, with blood as your path and murder as your way; you are good-hearted and tolerant people. Ask God to forgive Hosni Mubarak. By God, I don’t support him and I am against him. But I love the people of beloved Egypt and I love Egypt, the mother of the world, so, forgive those who have harmed you.

  • ديمه

    2011-8-14

    Not all those who went to Tahrir Square are Guevaras, like Mofeed Fawzy said, or promised paradise, and not all those who call for the execution of Mubarak are honorable. Not all those who say: “Bread, freedom, social justice” are poor or victims of Mubarak. The season of the heroes’ buds has come and they are now blossoming. We, the party of the armchair, as they call us, are not heroes and do not seek to be called heroes, and at the same time we are not … because we did not go to Tahrir. Yesterday, I watched a shameful Youtube video of someone who is the head of an opposition newspaper’s board of directors, and who was in Tahrir and who is a first class opposition activist. This video shows that honor, morals and high and patriotic ideals are not exclusive to the square of coups.

  • hussain

    2011-8-14

    The poor Egyptians do not want to know the truth. They were ruled by King Farouq, and they accused him of corruption and threw him out. Then Gamal Abdel Nasser came along and they caused his defeat, and he died before his time because of their acts. After that, Al Sadat came and they killed him and accused him of treason. Then Mohamed Hosni Mubarak came and they are now putting him on trial and demanding his execution. Another ruler will come after Mubarak, and the series will continue, because the bitter truth that Egyptians do not want to believe is that the problem is not the ruler, but the people themselves.

  • ROCKSTAR

    2011-8-14

    I wonder about those Egyptians; how is it that a respectable man of the magnitude of Mubarak serves them for 30 years, builds their country from scratch, leaves a surplus in its central bank, after it was sixty billion dollars in debt they day he came to power, builds tunnels and bridges, increases the income of Egyptian citizens, even though Egypt is not an oil-producing country, builds the most beautiful Cabaret in the country, leads Cairo under his reign to be the first and only Arab country with a subway, and leads Egypt in his era to be a sports and science pioneer, with four of its own winning the Nobel prize under him, and then they call for his execution after all of these huge achievements?

  • 2011-8-14

    The new scandals of this man include the statistics about the elections. Some officials visited the president sometime ago, but he was not convinced that he should keep the percentage of his success from 60 to 70% because he is an Arab ruler. So, the result was 99%, but the actual percentage was 67% after the electoral forgery. The situation today explains the secret talks about this result. We will not rejoice at his misfortunes, but the wise person must judge himself before others judge him severally. May God have mercy upon a man who realized his actual value and knew what he was supposed to do.

  • yasser

    2011-8-14

    I want you to understand something. The Egyptian army is different from any army in the world, because the Prophet, peace be upon him, said that its soldiers are the best soldiers on earth. The military junta always supports the people and the stances of its leaders, including Field Marshal Abu Ghazalah, and Tantawi proves this. Tantawi’s decision was expected, because in its first statement, the army said that it would never use force against this great people, and that the demonstrations are a protected right for all Egyptians.

  • randa

    2011-8-14

    This is prohibited for the Egyptians. Is it possible for you to prosecute a man who ruled 85 million people for 30 years? He did not do harm to Egypt. May God bless him because he managed to provide you with bread and beans. The Egyptian people will regret what they did to Mubarak. What did the people benefit from the revolution? I defy you to show me that anyone benefited from it! This is unfair and prohibited.

  • nadhem

    2011-8-14

    To the best of my knowledge, the Egyptians are kindhearted and merciful. So, I do not understand how they will execute a man who led them for 30 years. Dear brothers, this man has become very old, and I do not know what is the benefit of his execution. Will this contribute to the progress of Egypt? It is better for the Egyptians to form a government and restore order. I am afraid that the prosecution of President Mubarak would be a revengeful act on the part of Iran and that he would be executed on the Adha Eid, like what happened with President Saddam.

  • 2011-8-14

    Heheheheh The poll was at Tahrir Square!! Fear God, because if Hosni ran in the elections, he would win. However, the problem is that all the mass media work according to a foreign agenda.

  • حسان

    2011-8-9

    Justice and development can only be achieved when the president is held accountable, like any ordinary person of the people who makes a mistake and the judiciary is fair. People are as equal as the teeth of a comb. When did you enslave people, while they were born free? The ivory tower must be destroyed so as to oblige officials and governors to live and come down to earth, since they are supposed to serve the nation rather than to enslave and terrorize it. It is enough that the self-made Pharaohs kill us and destroy our future. In fact, God overwhelms the fair ruler, i.e. Imam, with His shadow on a day when there is no shadow but that of God. Do not let governors shatter our dreams. Let our nation be a generous and dear nation that respects its sons and its rulers alike. Enough humiliation; enough humiliation.

  • بنت الاسلام

    2011-8-8

    We demand fair retribution to soothe the wounded Egyptian people.

  • فاطمه

    2011-8-4

    Stop speaking this way; the country is confused. What more will you do? Stop the humiliation of the president. I swear this is unfair, and God is forgiving. Stop this, because the president is not Gadhafi.

  • حسين

    2011-8-3

    The prisoners of Turah, including the symbols of the former regime, are not humans but devils and even worse. God the Almighty forgives those who disobey his commandments, but he never forgives any abuse or harm against the people. God humiliates and honors people and he is the Mighty King of Kings. God the Almighty has granted power to those people in order to judge among people justly, but they forgot this covenant and God made them forget themselves. God never wrongs his slaves.

  • محمد صبحى

    2011-8-3

    I do not support the prosecution of the Egyptian President.

  • محمد حسن

    2011-8-3

    I demand fair retribution in the trial of the deposed president, and I demand the restoration of all of his wealth under the control of the army.

  • زياد

    2011-8-2

    May God protect Egypt, Mother of the World. I am your son Ziyad.

  • اشرف

    2011-8-2

    The true revolutionary is the one who buckles down to build our country and restore its status. Our demand should be the renaissance of Egypt, the Mother of the World. Wake up, dear youth, and do not look back. Search for the future.

  • 2011-8-1

    Best regards to the martyrs of Tahrir Square. Long live Egypt… May way for us!

  • عماد الحسينى

    2011-8-1

    We seek God’s help.

  • محمد

    2011-8-1

    Social justice and stability.

  • سما

    2011-7-31

    I demand the prosecution of Mubarak and anyone who killed protesters during the revolution.

  • ياسمين

    2011-7-30

    This is prohibited for you, because you are going to destroy the country.

  • good

    2011-7-30

    The revolutionary youth must coordinate among each other and organize their ranks. If possible also have a party established for the revolutionaries.

  • السيدمحمد

    2011-7-30

    We demand the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak.

  • مل علي

    2011-7-30

    Try to forgive former president Mubarak. Remember his role in the October 6th War. God forgives us, so why do we not forgive him? The month of love and forgiveness is about to start, and we ask God to have mercy upon us all. O God! Send peace and blessings upon the Prophet, peace be upon him.

  • محمود السباعي

    2011-7-30

    I wish we would be one hand in doing good and we should help our families seriously, rather than causing hassles. The Egyptians survived, thanks to the supplication of the old people. I wish we would preserve Egypt. We want to live like the other countries

  • اسلام ابن الشيخ

    2011-7-30

    Yes to freedom. The former regime was unsuccessful in all fields. The government was oppressive and we were united in the face of suppression at the hospitals and police stations. We have to be united against the corrupt regime and the suppressive government by all means. God is the greatest.

  • وائل بدوى

    2011-7-29

    Peace be upon you…. I have participated in the revolution since its beginning, and the people’s purpose in the beginning was one, regardless of the losses. The most important goal was the national interest, but today they are in urgent need of personal interests.

  • فلسطين

    2011-7-29

    Please, build the economy of Egypt first, because this is more important than any trials. Work towards serving the families of the martyrs and build the economy. Liberate yourselves from the grip of the dollar and euro, as you have liberated your honor. Go forward to build the giant economy of Egypt.

  • مصطفي

    2011-7-29

    You are people who do not accept the humiliation but we have to protect the country.

  • ali mousa

    2011-7-29

    Egyptians are united.

  • سعاد

    2011-7-29

    I agree with all the demands and I call for prosecuting the deposed president, because he was aware of all that happened in the state, and he must be punished in front of all people.