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Youth activists shun meetings with president

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Constituent Assembly not representative, youth groups say

Youth representatives refused to meet with Morsy’s assistants and members of the assembly. (AFP PHOTO)

Youth representatives refused to meet with Morsy’s assistants and members of the assembly. (AFP PHOTO)

Various youth representatives from established political parties have refused to meet with President Mohamed Morsy’s assistants to discuss the draft constitution. On Tuesday, a youth member of the Free Egyptians Party, Amir Boshra, said it was not the constitutional draft they were opposing, but rather the current formation of the Constituent Assembly.

“The current formation [of the assembly] does not represent the Egyptian people as a whole,” Boshra said. “Instead, they represent a specific sector of Egyptian society and the drafts have so far been tailored to fit that sector.”

On Monday youth representatives from the Dostour Party, Socialist Popular Alliance Party, Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Egyptian Current Party, Free Egyptians Party and the Free Egypt Party issued a joint statement refusing the current formation of the assembly. In their statement, the groups refused to meet with Morsy’s assistants and members of the assembly, saying the current state of the assembly “does not reflect any respect to our point of view or position, and does not provide an opportunity for serious dialogue with opposition forces to form the assembly.”

Jermeen Nasr, a founding member of the Dostour Party, said previous meetings with Morsy ended with him denying any mistakes on his part, without any result or action being taken.

The statement called for a restructuring of the assembly to ensure balance and representation for all Egyptians.

The youth leaders apologised for not meeting with the assistants and said they “are waiting for the announcement by the president of the republic for his position on the proposals that we have put forward in ongoing dialogue with him.”

Nasr said the assembly should ideally represent all sectors of society and include scientists, authors, religious moderates both Coptic and Muslim and women who are “well educated and who could present women’s rights and their role in the society.” People with disabilities should also be included, she argued, as should prominent youth.

The Socialist Popular Alliance Party also said they would not be attending any meetings with the president, as the youth form an integral part of their party and are not a separate entity.

A member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party’s executive bureau, Mohammed Naeem, conveyed the youth’s message during their meeting with the president on Monday. Naeem agreed with many of the points the youth had made in their statement, saying that if the president wanted to hold serious talks then dialogue should have been established with all political parties and presidential candidates from the beginning.

“The far left, the far right and the parties in the centre have all refused the constitution,” Naeem said. “If the liberals and the Salafis are both refusing it, then dialogue is obviously needed.”

Naeem said that the time for dialogue was now, and “when it comes to such serious discussions it should not be left to the youth.”

About the author

Luiz Sanchez

Luiz Sanchez

Journalist

Luiz is a Brazilian journalist in Cairo @luizdaVeiga


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