The Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) stressed its support for the armed forces while emphasising its opposition to procedures and policies that the government insists on implementing. They said the support comes even though the policies ” contradict the democratic path”, according to a Friday statement by ESDP.
Among these procedures is the government’s refusal to consider any suggestions to amend or repeal the Protest Law, restricting the right to peacefully protest that is granted by the constitution.
Many activists have recently been charged with illegally protesting, including 23 protesters who were sentenced to three years in prison for violating the law. In another case, activist Alaa Abdel Fattah and 24 others were sentenced in absentia to 15 years and EGP 100,000 fine for violating the restricting protest law among other charges.
Also under contention is the continuing tightening of the noose around civil society organisations. No alternatives have been offered to these organisations, who promote human rights work whilst taking national security into account.
NGOs have been asked to register before 10 November under a law that is “oppressive”, according to a statement by 23 NGOs, as the law permits the state to shut down any NGO at will. Assets, funding, and property can be frozen and confiscated, and members of the governing board can be rejected by the state.
Violence in universities has been on the rise between students and security forces since the beginning of the academic year where several student protests took place in universities across Egypt. The protests mainly called for the release of detained colleagues, also objecting to security forces’ violence and the presence of a private security firm.
The ESDP statement added that there is uncertainty about the upcoming parliamentary elections and the government’s insistence on implementing the elections in the presence of “flawed laws which aim at reducing the partisan action”.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb announced that the parliamentary elections are to take place by the end of this year and that preparations are being made for these elections to take place. However, an exact date for the beginning of the electoral process has yet to be set.