Anti-coup bloc says talks possible after Egypt elections

Several reconciliation initiatives have been presented by Egyptian political figures and foreign diplomats since Mohamed Morsi – the country's first freely elected president – was ousted by the army last July on the back of protests against his presidency.

Anti-coup bloc says talks possible after Egypt elections

World Bulletin / News Desk

Two leaders of Egypt's main anti-coup bloc say they expect reconciliation talks with the authorities in the country following presidential elections set for May 26-27.

"All channels for reconciliation are currently unavailable," said Omar Farouk, a leading member of the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, told Anadolu Agency by phone.

"And they won't be available until after the presidential elections," he added.

Several reconciliation initiatives have been presented by Egyptian political figures and foreign diplomats since Mohamed Morsi – the country's first freely elected president – was ousted by the army last July on the back of protests against his presidency.

However, no initiatives have succeeded in bridging the gap between anti-coup protesters and the army-backed government, which continues to wage a relentless crackdown on supporters of the ousted president and his – now outlawed – Muslim Brotherhood group.

The anti-coup alliance, for its part, refuses to recognize an army-imposed transitional roadmap of which upcoming presidential polls – slated for May 26-27 – are the second phase.

"Following elections, there will be a president to speak to," Farouk said. "As it currently stands, who can we approach for genuine political reconciliation?"

Tarek al-Zomor, a leading alliance member who also heads Al-Gamaa al-Islamiya's Building and Development Party, agrees.

"We expect calls for reconciliation following the presidential elections," al-Zomor said, adding that such calls would include Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood – which the government labeled a "terrorist group" last December.

"The new [post-election] government will want to appear in control of conditions in the country," he added.

"There may be hope for reconciliation if the army returns to the barracks to make way for a democratic Egypt," al-Zomor said.

On Monday, al-Sisi, the former army chief who played a leading role in Morsi's ouster last year, formally applied to run in the upcoming presidential poll, which he is expected to dominate.

Al-Sisi's only serious electoral rival will likely be Hamdeen Sabahi, a prominent leftist politician who came in third in the 2012 polls that propelled Morsi to power.

Egypt has been dogged by instability since last July, when the army forcibly removed Morsi from office – and later imprisoned him – following massive protests against his presidency.

In the nine months since, hundreds of opponents of Morsi's ouster have been killed and thousands detained.

Meanwhile, an unprecedented wave of attacks on security forces has left scores of Egyptian security personnel dead.

Last Mod: 19 Nisan 2014, 10:21
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