- Reform Issues
- December 26, 2010
- 3 minutes read
Mubarak sidelines presidential succession issue and opposition’s reform demands
The ruling NDP’s annual convention began on Saturday with what appeared to be early intentions of sidelining and ignoring pressing questions of political reform and presidential succession although his mandate is set to end soon.
The convention which is expected to last until Monday concentrated largely on setting a blueprint for the upcoming year focusing on economic reform including furthering market-oriented economic changes, promoting domestic and foreign investment, reducing unemployment, improving education and healthcare and empowering local governments.
Addressing thousands of party members in his inaugural speech Mubarak called on the government to develop an executive plan immediately to fulfill the assignments, spread hope and fight skeptics.
An official confirmed that the party is not expected to announce its official nominee for the much-anticipated 2011 presidential poll at this convention and Mofid Shehab Minister for Legal Affairs asserted that a special conference will be held for the announcement. He did not however specify a date.
The president’s speech notably failed to address the democratic reform demands constantly urged by the opposition.
Since his emergence onto the political arena in February 2010 former IAEA chief Dr.Mohamed ElBaradei, has been promoting an intricate reform plea which included demands of eliminating the 3-decade-old emergency law which has been abused by the Interior ministry’s security apparatus. ElBaradei had also collaborated with political opposition including the Muslim Brotherhood where they initiated appeals for peaceful constitutional amendments ensuring full judicial supervision of any elections, and a multi-party presidential poll.
Mubarak’s speech follows the party’s controversial victory in the parliamentary elections where the NDP acquired over 95% of the parliamentary seats. The poll was widely dismissed as fraudulent and described as failing to reflect the nation’s free will. Mubarak asserted that the NDP was by no means monopolizing party or national work and were hoping to strengthen pluralism and honest competition. A promise which fell short during the run up, throughout and up to the announcement of the winners of the parliamentary ballots.
Opposition candidates opted to follow legal channels and went to court to report the frauds during voting which eventually secured plenty of verdicts that challenged the final results.
The sham elections triggered former opposition MPs who lost their seats to form a shadow parliament dismissing the official parliament and labeling it as void. This in turn earned the opposition a mocking by the leader who asserted the legitimacy of the NDP-controlled People’s Assembly and ridiculed the shadow parliament’s initiators where he added “Let them have fun.”