FJP Leader Erian: Ballot Box Only Way for Political Expression

FJP Leader Erian: Ballot Box Only Way for Political Expression

In a statement Monday, Dr. Essam El-Erian, Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Vice-Chairman, stressed that the most important point that mass demonstrations have illustrated is that there is a popular force that can effectively mobilize in the face of Islamist parties and movements.

"This popular force reorganized itself in a broad Front, a coalition of businessmen, former members of the defunct National Democratic Party (NDP), security officers who left their jobs, masses of people – angry and indignant for many reasons, and a limited number representing political currents that until recently were never able to mobilize even 10% of today’s demonstrators.

"Can these forces stay together until the next parliamentary elections?

"If the Islamist parties and movements that announced the ‘National Democratic Alliance’ sought dialogue and understanding with that broad Front, will they find a leadership ready for dialogue and national reconciliation? Does that opposition Front’s leadership include symbols of current parties which everyone knows to be too weak to motivate or mobilize the people?"

He further said, "If ongoing events end with no bloodshed, as is the case so far – thank God – democracy and democratization will have achieved a great feat, because the masses must translate themselves into a democratic political expression through the ballot boxes.

"That way, we would have two major parties or two fronts that take turns in office in Egypt, with commitment to rules of democracy and the constitution, and a vow not to exclude anyone."

Dr. Erian stressed that there will be winners today and there will be losers, adding that the Islamists regained their ability to mobilize millions, their crystal-clear cohesion and commitment to democracy, legitimacy and respect for the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box, while some lost by keeping away for fear of sowing or fuelling strife.

"On the other hand, former regime loyalists and Shafiq supporters showed off their organizational abilities and their skill at hiding under political cover. Most probably, they will abandon that, if a genuine reconciliation kicks off. They will seek that any reconciliation would be with them and not through intermediaries, having successfully secured recognition of their national rights by some of those who had revolted against them.

"Certain parties lost, and as yet failed in building itself up, wasted time and effort in hate and attrition maneuvers, never understood the rules of democracy, announced it had no respect for the Constitution approved by the people, and stubbornly refused dialogue – which it will not be able to join now, because this would mean even more losses."

Dr. Erian added, "The army gained the respect of everyone, without indulging in party-political work, with its commitment to constitutional legitimacy, while the police gained and lost, at the same time. It triumphed by not attacking demonstrators, but lost when some of its officers fell for political action and when some of its failed to prevent the violence that has occurred in the last few days and also when some officers collaborated with thugs in a number of clashes.

"Thuggery will no longer have a place, if genuine national reconciliation is achieved, leading to parliamentary elections that would restore the balance of power and work on constitutional changes for the benefit of the homeland."

Dr. Erian pointed that President Morsi declared he backed constitutional legitimacy, will complete the democratic transition and will activate the National Reconciliation Commission and the Constitutional Amendments Commission. Millions of Egyptians expect a lot from him, especially in improving their economic and living conditions and in achieving the demands, aspirations and goals of the people to restore calm particularly hard days.

"There has been no civil war, and God saved the blood of Egyptians, no-one robbed any banks, and hostile media failed in fomenting sedition or scaring people."