Egyptian Nobel Laureate Zewail Presents 5-Point Initiative on Egypt’s Crisis

Egyptian Nobel Laureate Zewail Presents 5-Point Initiative on Egypt’s Crisis

In an interview with the Middle East News Agency (MENA) in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Feb 7, Egyptian Nobel prize winner, Ahmed Zewail, denied the possibility of running as a presidential candidate in the transition of power, even though Egyptian youth unanimously agree to mandate him to hold talks with the Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman. "There’s no room to talk about this matter and it is indisputable," he said.

During a press conference in Cairo, Zewail put forward a 5-point plan for dealing with the 13th day of unprecedented popular protests against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.

In his first public debut since his arrival in Cairo on Wednesday, Zewail said the current situation in Egypt necessitates a rapid resolve to the crisis, emphasizing the need to keep Egypt’s national interests in mind.

Zewail, a member of the Committee of Wise Men, has offered a radical change of five points:

 first, the formation of a council of trusted legal experts and public figures to amend the Constitution, which should include articles 76, 77, 88 and 179. Also, a time frame should be set for democratic elections following the dissolution of parliament, and a timetable should be set for genuine elections.

Zewail said his second condition is "the abolition of the Emergency Law and the amendment of laws governing the formation of political parties and the exercise of political rights.

The third condition is the release of political detainees belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, the 6th April movement and the 25th January movement, as well as other opposition groups.

The fourth condition is the holding of free elections characterized by integrity under the full supervision of the judiciary as soon as possible.

Zewail’s final demand is the introduction of far-reaching change regarding the Egyptian media, including granting a greater margin of freedom to private media, allowing opposition figures to appear in state-run media, abolishing freedom-restricting legislation, and refraining from harassing international media.

Zewail does not explicitly mention the departure of Mubarak, a key demand of the protests, calling for the appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman to oversee reforms in the country.

He paid a special tribute to young protesters in Tahrir Square, who said he met with their representatives at length, adding that the great work they have done was not anticipated either at home or abroad.

He called for a change in "Egypt’s Facebook-adept youth" to "Egyptian youths face", but warned about suspicious politicization.