Ayman Nour, head of Al-Ghad Party and former presidential candidate, denied any contact with organisers of the reported latest anti-government campaign ‘We are the solution’.
He added that he does appreciate the initiative, but that it lacks organisation.
Nour, who is currently residing in Lebanon, spoke to Daily News Egypt to comment on the initiative and other political issues in Egypt.
After a number of revolutionary figures allegedly unilaterally established an oppositional parallel government in Germany Friday night, aiming to call for unity against the current regime, many of the names mentioned in the new ‘government’ criticised the initiative, citing various reasons.
Commenting on the initiative, Nour said: “It is a positive step to preach the return to the democratic path to Egypt, as well as gathering figures and groups of nationalists who participated in the 25 January Revolution.”
In the new alleged ‘government’, Nour is supposed to fill the position of prime minister.
However, he pointed to some “problems”, which might lead the initiative to lose support. “Firstly, the young people who managed the idea didn’t contact the alleged candidates before announcing and making it public.”
Nour asserted that he first knew of the initiative from different media outlets. “This might have alienated some figures from the proposed plan,” he said, adding that the he cannot confirm whether the initiative is related to the Muslim Brotherhood or not.
The Muslim Brotherhood Press Office based in London told Daily News Egypt Sunday that they “value and support all efforts to unite various revolutionary forces against the military coup”. However, they clearly stated that they “learned about the Germany talks from the media and did not participate in any of the negotiations leading to it”.
Secondly, he criticised the plan of offering a transitional period without giving a clear “objective to reach”.
Also, he added it is “early” to suggest “an alternative government”.
Last December, over a year after the July 2013 regime change, a group designating itself “Egypt’s legitimate parliamentarians” gathered in Turkey under the title of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council.
Nour added that “society and the current Egyptian political scene is not ready to deal with the idea of a parallel government or exile government”.
Nour also commented on the latest legal cases concerning former president Hosni Mubarak. “The acquittal of Mubarak is showing the current political path which is not biased to the revolution, which started after the 18 days in Tahrir Square.”
He added that Mubarak was granted his freedom not on 29 November but after the former prosecutor general Abdel Hamed Mahmoud decided to prosecute Mubarak only on the crimes he committed during the 18 days of the revolution, and not during his 30 years of rule.
This path, he added, was a result of a series of “failed” transitional periods, “starting from the reign of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), which was followed by the reign of Mohamed Morsi, and the current reign of Field Marshal Al-Sisi.”
“I was shocked to hear that Morsi did not attempt to prosecute any security officials accused of killing protesters.”
Concerning the latest meetings of President Al-Sisi with the country’s political parties, Nour said: “It is necessary for the president to be in contact with the parties to ensure political participation and diversity. However, the rhetoric Al-Sisi used in the meetings is chaotic.”
“The fact that the president asks the parties to ‘unite’ is problematic, and implies lack of political vision, which might lead to the establishment of another Socialist Union,” he added, noting that the current laws regulating elections will result in a “deformed parliament”.
The Arab Socialist Union was the major political party during the era of former president Gamal Abdel Nasser, which adhered to the principles of Arab socialism and Nasserism.
This, he described, “will be an annihilation of political life in the country”.
When asked about the current situation in Sinai, Nour mentioned that the absence of independent media is “an undemocratic trend and is a violation of public rights.” He added that this describes the approach which the current government is following in dealing with freedom of speech.
“Even though I don’t face any legal constraints in Egypt, I am concerned about returning due to the lack of freedom of speech,” he said.
Additional reporting by Emir Nader