National Front calls on President Morsy to keep promises

Ahmed Aboulenein
5 Min Read
Dr Heba Ezzat Raouf a member of the National Front

The National Front called on President Mohamed Morsy to fulfil his campaign promises and display transparency in his decisions and reveal the criteria for his cabinet appointments in a press conference held on Saturday.

The front was formed prior to the announcement of Morsy’s victory to support him against former Mubarak-era Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. Its members struck an uneasy alliance with Morsy whom they viewed as the lesser of two evils.

They criticised Morsy’s appointment of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil whom they said did not meet the criteria they agreed upon.

Several reports emerged before the press conference saying that the front had issued a warning to Morsy and are giving him 15 days to undo his actions. The front denied this.

“There are no final warnings or anything like that. We just want transparency and for the president to keep the six promises he made us before his election,” said activist and front member Wael Ghonim.

“We met with the president before his election and again in the presidential palace on June 27 and agreed upon the following: three vice presidents, a Coptic Christian, a woman and a youth; an independent patriotic prime minister leading a coalition cabinet representing all political forces; a presidential team of patriotic independent figures; revocation of the constitutional decree and reversing the decision to dissolve the People’s Assembly, restructuring the Constituent Assembly and making it more balanced; and transparency with the people regarding all decisions made,” front member and Al-Shorouk newspaper managing editor Wael Kandil said as he listed the promises.

The formation of the cabinet took too much time and seems like it will not feature proper political representation, Kandil said, while the Constituent Assembly’s membership remains unchanged and dominated by Islamists.

“The president promised transparency in his decisions. It has been 30 days since his inauguration and we have observed a severe lack of transparency regarding decisions,” he added.

Kandil said the front now had six points it wanted to make. The front demanded that Morsy pledge to protect the revolution and fight the counter-revolution. The front is similarly against the “dual presidency,” where power is shared between Morsy and the Supreme Council of Armed Forces.

Front member and political science professor Heba Ezzat Raouf was against the choice of Qandil.

She said the front nominated several figures for both the presidential team and position of prime minister but all the suggestions were ignored.

“The current premier is a respected figure but he does not fit the criteria we agreed upon with the president. He is a technocrat, not a political figure,” Raouf said.

She said they agreed on a politician prime minister who would lead a coalition cabinet with parties being represented according to the number of seats they have in parliament.

“If the cabinet is to be a technocrat one then we will criticise and oppose every minister who lacks experience and achievements in their fields and is appointed on a political basis,” she said.

She criticised Morsy for appointing members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, as presidential aides.

“Assistants in a party or campaign are one thing, but there are different criteria required for one to be a presidential aide,” she said.

The front also demanded a review of the Constituent Assembly membership.

Former National Association for Change leader Abdel Galil Mostafa said the front initially agreed with Morsy that six Islamist members of the assembly would resign and be replaced by secular ones as to add more balance.

Nonetheless, Mostafa said, five members of the assembly had resigned of their own will for different reasons and that he hopes they would be replaced by secular candidates.

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Ahmed Aboul Enein is an Egyptian journalist who hates writing about himself in the third person. Follow him on Twitter @aaboulenein
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