Amr Darrag: FJP Rejects Elections Dates Putschist Foreign Minister Announced Abroad
Dr. Amr Darrag, leading member of the Anti-Coup Pro-Legitimacy National Alliance and former Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, said that statements made by the putschist regime’s Foreign Minister regarding the dates of parliamentary and presidential elections in Egypt, are not meant for citizens in Egypt, but are simply to polish the coup’s image abroad.
Speaking by telephone to Al-Arabiya satellite TV channel on Thursday evening, Dr. Darrag expressed astonishment that elections dates are announced by the Foreign Minister in foreign media before getting announced in Egypt, pointing that this was an unprecedented maneuver, since – normally – the first to talk about such dates is the President, the Prime Minister or the Interior Minister. He added this confirms that the step was simply a propaganda message addressed mainly to foreign powers rather than citizens at home.
The former Minister of Planning and International Cooperation said his Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) – as a member of the Anti-Coup, Pro-Legitimacy National Alliance – rejects these dates and processes, because members of this pro-democracy coalition are well aware that what happened on July 3 last year, was a coup against constitutional legitimacy.
"The statements made by the coup’s Foreign Minister have nothing to do with the situation on the ground. The minister speaks as if constitutional amendments have been completed and approved (through a referendum) by the people, all of which are yet to materialize."
Dr. Darrag pointed that the articles of the Constitution are still being debated by a military-appointed 50-member committee, and that the committee’s spokesman announced personally that they cannot finish their work on the Constitution before December 3.
"So, how can the Foreign Minister state that the committee’s work will end next week? Moreover, according to the coup’s illegal Constitutional Declaration, the sixty-day deadline set for the committee to finish its work has expired, which means work after that is null and void.
"Even the electoral system has not been approved or adopted in these amendments until now, the election law has not been issued – nor discussed, political parties and forces have not been invited to discuss the articles that can be agreed upon in the law."
Dr. Darrag went on, "Practically, it is impossible to hold elections at the times announced by the minister. Obviously, the coup’s government wants to show the world that they are committed to the roadmap". He further pointed that the dates announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs already contradict dates declared earlier in the July 3 statement.
In response to a question about the Foreign Minister’s remark that the FJP will be allowed to participate in political life, Dr. Darrag said: "This is our legal and legitimate right. The FJP does not require a permit from the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This is not his call to make. He should be concerned with Egypt’s foreign not domestic affairs".
He asked sarcastically: "Where is equality of opportunity? They should either release all detainees or arrest other political parties’ candidates – so all should compete on the same ground.
"The FJP was the first party created after the January 25 Revolution. No-one can confiscate or ‘allow’ us our rights. Nevertheless, how are we supposed to fight such illegal elections with 90% of our candidates in the military coup’s prisons – including the party chairman, his deputy and members of the Executive Office, as well as most of the party’s potential candidates?"
In conclusion, he said: "Evidently, these statements are intended to simply beautify the coup’s image and deny the exclusion of any political party, while in fact the exclusion process is forging forth – by leaps and bounds".