By Mai Shams El-Din
CAIRO: Divisions between Egyptian political forces are leading to “political arbitrariness” said presidential hopeful Mohamed ElBaradie in a joint press conference with members of the Free Egyptians Party Tuesday.
He stressed the need for creating national consensus.
“This visit is a continuation of my visits to other political parties and national forces to create national consensus over a roadmap for the transition to democracy,” said ElBaradie.
“The management of the revolution is now harder than starting it, and the divisions we are seeing right now are just theoretical using useless slogans.”
ElBaradie slammed the “treason rhetoric” used by the ruling military council in its 69th statement when they accused the April 6 Youth Movement of causing a rift between the army and the people, followed by TV remarks by Major General Hassan El-Ruwainy implying that April 6 and Kefaya are foreign agents.
“This language should be extinct by now; it is the language of the decadent dictatorship. I think we passed that stage a long time ago,” he said.
“If there is any evidence of this, it should be presented to the prosecutor general … the SCAF cannot throw around accusations everywhere like this,” he added.
ElBaradie said that the argument over whether to draft a constitution before the elections should end since the SCAF has declared its agreement to include supra-constitutional articles to safeguard civil rights in addition to setting guidelines on how to choose the constituent assembly that will draft the constitution.
“We urge the SCAF to set the system through which these guidelines and binding principles will be decided, perhaps through a public referendum,” ElBaradie said.
“During my last visit to the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, I knew that they reject the idea of supra-constitutional principles, but they completely support a constituent assembly that represents all Egyptians,” he added.
ElBaradie said that supra-constitutional principles should not be considered a run around the will of the people; granting human rights for all is acknowledged in all international human rights agreements and is part of all religions and human philosophies.
“Those principles can be part of the new constitution, but they cannot be revoked, which will facilitate the task of the constituent assembly,” ElBaradie explained.
He also criticized the ambiguity surrounding the newly amended parliament law, especially regarding international monitoring and voting for Egyptians abroad.
“International supervision cannot infringe national sovereignty. It actually reaffirms it, because it shows the whole world how democratic and transparent we are … it happens in all democratic countries,” ElBaradie said.
“We have 8 million Egyptians living abroad, and the new law did not clarify if they will be granted their basic right to vote or not.”
ElBaradie also added that Friday’s million man march should be dedicated to national unity.
Islamist political forces are planning a million man march on Friday to reject the supra-constitutional principles document, which raises fears of clashes between Islamists and other groups in Tahrir Square.
“We urge the SCAF to lead the transition with more transparency and communication, and urge all political forces to stress national unity and finding common ground,” he said.