Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Egyptian Youth Coalition calls on armed forces to form new government of technocrats

Egyptian Youth leaders on Monday called on the Egyptian Armed Forces to sack the incumbent cabinet and guarantee the implementation of democratic reforms. In a policy paper read out at a press conference the “Coalition of Young Revolutionaries” called on the military to form a new interim government of technocrats within one month. This cabinet should be headed by “a patriotic civil personality that the people respect and trust”, Al-Masry al-Youm reports.
“We ask the armed forces to settle this issue out as soon as possible and dismiss all ministers who belong to the National Democratic Party (NDP),” youth representative Shady Harb told reporters.

Protest in front of  Egyptian Ttrade Union Federation
The Coalition will make additional demands later this week, Al-Masry al-Youm reported. They include the lifting of Egypt’s longstanding state of emergency; the abolition of martial laws and  emergency courts; dismantling of the NDP and the confiscation of all its assets by the state; respecting the right to form associations, unions and media outlets; dissolving the oppressive State Security Apparatus; and releasing all political prisoners.
The policy paper also calls for the abrogation of the restrictive law regulating the formation of political parties within ten days, and the drafting of a new law for the exercise of political rights within one month.
To enhance the political participation of young people--who constitute over 50 percent of Egypt’s population--the coalition has asked for lowering the eligibility age for parliamentary candidacy from 30 to 25, and for presidential candidacy from 40 to 35.
 The Coalition has also called on the military to guarantee the enforcement of controversial court rulings that the Mubarak regime had ignored, including one ruling to expel university police guards and another to halt gas exports to Israel. The paper follows a meeting  that eight of the Youth  had on Sunday with two of the military leaders. Two of the Youth, Wael Ghoneim and Amr Salama, published minutes of this meeting from which it loosk as if the army is quite serieus about its pursuit of democracy. 
Sunday and Monday were for the rest days of social unrest. Some 500 labor activists demonstrated outside the state-controlled Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) on Monday to demand the federation’s dissolution.  Dozens attempted to storm and occupy the ETUF headquarters. ETUF security responded by beating protesters out of the building.
Personal of the National bank demonstrating.

On Sunday some 2000 employees of the nmational bank of Egypt demonstrated. 'The  bank wants the chairman down,' they chanted. The employees of the government-owned bank were contesting the board of directors, which pays itself very high salaries, sometimes appointing  inexperienced graduates with monthly salaries of  LE30,000, much more than what middle management.
In front of Banque Misr, Egypt's second largest bank, the same scene unfolded.  There the demand was the resignation of the advisors to the board of directors. 'This board hired ex-prime minister Nazif's niece as a media advisor to the chairman. 'This Fatma Al-Ghouli gets LE200,000 per month and she is a dentist. What could a dentist advise about in a bank?' said one of the branch managers who was among the protestors.
Archeologists demonstrate in front of the Antiquities Authority
Archeologist demonstrated to demand the resignation of the director of the Antiquities Authority, Zahi Hawass, and an end to corruption. Journalists were demanding the resignation of the head of the Syndicate of Journalism, Makram Mohammed Ahmed, who had always been a staunch Mubarak supporter. The police demonstrated in front of the Interior ministry, demanding better pay and rehabilitation of their image.
Protests against working conditions were also taking place at the ministry ofr Education and throughout the rest of the country. The army has banned all labor unrest and union gatherings and has made an appeal on all Egyptians to go back to work. The government, meanwhile, has made a request to foreign countries to freeze the assets of several members of the former government

No comments: