Kefaya Opposition Movement Is Dead: Leading Member

A prominent member of the Kefaya (Enough) Movement in Egypt has said the organization is dead. Hani Anan, a leading coordinator, announced at a workshop in Cairo that Kefaya is similar to a biological phenomenon that has a beginning and an end.

“The group appeared and ended and many other movements will emerge from it [Kefaya],” Anan said at the workshop organized by the Cairo Center for Human Rights.

It was at the conference that Anan compared Kefaya to an organism that has died, but added that the spirit of Kefaya will live on in other movements that will branch out from the “ended” group.

“Kefaya was born, not organized, and it aimed from the beginning to move still water in the [Egyptian] political scene without aspirations for power,” he added.

Kefaya gained popularity and momentum during Spring 2005, after the Egyptian government announced that it would hold a referendum that would allow for multi-party presidential elections. The infant movement galvanized a small portion of Egyptian society to boycott the referendum, arguing that the government was using the referendum and eventual election as a means to maintain Mubarak as the country’s leader.

The group held demonstrations over the next year and a half, which reached its pinnacle during a row between the judiciary and the executive branches of government over election irregularities. Since the protests in April 2006 Kefaya has all but disappeared from public view, which had led many to argue that it was dead long before Anan’s statements.

However, the head of the Cairo Center for Human Rights, Bahy Al Din Hassan, disagrees with Anan’s assertions, saying “all movements around the world don’t just appear and disappear.”

Hassan criticized the lack of programs and direction of the group, especially the relationship between religion and state.

“I don’t think that Egyptians feel insulted towards hereditary rule,” Hassan began, referring to Kefaya’s opposition to a Syrian-like takeover of the presidency by Gamal Mubarak, the senior Mubarak’s son. “He [Egyptian citizens] is busy with other economic and social issues emerging from the bad policies of the government,” Hassan continued at the workshop.

Many analysts believe that Western pressures on Cairo helped spawn the Kefaya movement, but now that the West, and especially Washington, has receded from their demands of democracy, Kefaya has lost out and if it is not dead, it appears to be dying.

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