STATEMENT of the OFFICE OF THE VICE-PRESIDENT of Egypt, Omar Suleiman
6 February 2011
Courtesy of FPA (Foreign Press Association)
The Vice-President held a series of meetings with representatives of the full spectrum of political parties and forces, as a well as a number of youths from the 25 January movement. The meetings arrived at the following consensus:
All participants of the dialogue arrived at a consensus to express their appreciation and respect for the 25 January movement and on the need to deal seriously, expeditiously and honestly with the current crisis that the nation is facing, the legitimate demands of the youth of 25 January and society’s political forces, with full consideration and a commitment to constitutional legitimacy in confronting the challenges and dangers faced by Egypt as result of this crisis, including: The lack of security for the populace; disturbances to daily life; The paralysis of by public services; The suspension of education at universities and schools; The logistical delays in the delivery of essential goods to the population; The damages to and losses of the Egyptian economy; The attempts at foreign intervention into purely Egyptian affairs and breaches of security by foreign elements working to undermine stability in implementation of their plots, while recognizing that the 25 January movement is a honorable and patriotic movement.
The participants in the national dialogue agreed on a number of political arrangements, and constitutional and legislative measures, which the participants agreed by consensus would be of a temporary nature until the election of new president at the end of the current presidential term, including:
First: Implementing the Commitments Announced by the President in Speech to the Nation on 1 February 2011:
1. No nomination for a new presidential term will take place;
2. A peaceful transition of authority within the constitutional framework;
3. The introduction of constitutional amendments to articles 76 & 77, and related constitutional amendments needed for the peaceful transition of authority;
4. Legislative amendments related to the amendments of the constitution;
5. Implementation of the rulings of the Court of Cassation, regarding challenges to the People’s Assembly election
6. Pursuit of corruption, and an investigation into those behind the breakdown of security in line with the law
7. Restoring the security and stability of the nation, and tasking the police forces to resume their role in serving and protecting the people.
Second: In implementation of these commitments the following measures will be taken:
1. A committee will be formed from members of the judicial authority and a number of political figures to study and recommend constitutional amendments, and legislative amendments of laws complimentary to the constitution to be completed by the first week of March.
2. The Government announces the establishment of a bureau to receive complaints regarding, and commits to immediately release, prisoners of conscience of all persuasions. The Government commits itself to not pursuing them or limiting their ability to engage in political activity.
3. Media and communications will be liberalized and no extra-legal constraints will be imposed on them.
4. Supervisory and judiciary agencies will be tasked with continuing to pursue persons implicated in corruption, as well as pursuing and holding accountable persons responsible for the recent breakdown in security.
5. The state of emergency will be lifted based on the security situation and an end to the threats to the security of society
6. All participants expressed their absolute rejection of any and all forms of foreign intervention in internal Egyptian affairs.
Third: A national follow-up committee will be established and composed of public and independent figures from among experts, specialists and representatives of youth movements, and will monitor the implementation of all consensual agreements, and issues reports and recommendations to the Vice-President
In addition, all participants in the dialogue saluted the patriotic and loyal role played by our Armed Forces at this sensitive time, and affirmed their aspirations for a continuation of that role to restore of calm, security and stability, and to guarantee the implementation and of the consensus and understandings that result from the meetings of the national dialogue.
[NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSLATION/CHECK AGAISNT ORIGINAL]
IFJ Deplores ‘Inevitable Tragedy’ as Egyptian Journalist Dies
The International Federation of Journalists today mourned the loss of the first journalist to die in the social unrest in Egypt. Journalist Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud died in hospital in Cairo from injuries sustained after he was shot in the eye by a sniper on Monday last week.
The journalist, aged 39, worked for the A’wada newspaper, a part of the Al Ahram media group. His death comes after a week of continuing unrest that has seen journalists and media staff among those targeted by groups loyal to the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.
“This loss is the inevitable tragedy and consequence of reckless violence and confrontation,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “We send our condolences to Ahmed’s family and to all Egyptian colleagues.”
The IFJ is continuing to press for an end to violent targeting of journalists both local and foreign. Many have been beaten, taken hostage or intimidated as they have sought to cover the uprising against the Government of President Mubarak. Local reporters have particular come under pressure as official television and news media have downplayed protests and been subject to censorship.