On the Alliance of Opposition Parties and the Civil Society

In Egypt /Road Map Program by

The signatory human rights institutions keenly follow up the current interactions on the political arena in Egypt. Such interactions are positive indications that the issues of political and constitutional reform started to be on top of the priorities of the agendas of the various political currents and powers.

The signatory institutions emphasize that there are common factors that would be discerned among the initiatives for reform whether provided by political parties or through the civil society and human rights institutions. However, the momentum necessary for any initiative or program for reform is primarily conditional on the existence of a strong political will on the part of the providers of such initiatives. Such wills should be manifested in serious practical tendencies towards making alliances on preliminarily basics and within the framework of a definite program according to which all parties concerned with political reform would freely identify their stance regarding joining any of the said alliances.

The signatory human rights institutions are keen to illustrate the following:

First: human rights institutions have always undertaken cooperation and support for all initiatives aiming at paving a route for democratic reform and human rights. Human rights groups usually coordinate and debate with all political parties and civil society powers to push such process forward. This is without prejudice to the independence and impartiality of such institutions towards all political parties and powers whether governmental or oppositional. Such stances would not mingle the political and party work – aiming at acceding to power, and the human rights advocacy – restricted to promoting human rights. This is particularly true as it was proposed by some human rights intuitions to make alliances for such purpose over the last five years.

Second: the said institutions welcome the broad lines of the joint document for reform adopted by the three opposition parties namely: El-Tagammu, El Wafd and Nasserist. The said document would be an approach for consensus and a ground for dialogue among all powers concerned with reform, democracy and respect for human rights for a joint program of action suitable for implementing such aspirations.

Third: such intuitions are of the view that the basis for joining any alliance should be the stance towards the program and methodology of action and not legal legitimacy. It is not logical that the parties that reject the Law on Political Parties and the Committee on the Affairs of Parties accept the subsequent conclusions.

Fourth: the said institutions recognize that the process of reform in Egypt should be perceived as a long term one not to be fulfilled through a final strike due to the great imbalance in power relations. This necessitates more than never before building alliances within a framework of transparency and acknowledgement of equal rights for all parties that agreed to co-work according to such principles and within the framework of a minimum program of which they approve. Such procedures would help constitute one broad alliance for reform encompassing all or most reform alliances.

In this respect, the signatory institutions believe that building such institutions on firm grounds necessitate the following:

1- Managing serious debate for benefiting from the lessons and experiences of joint work on reform whether among the parties on the one hand or among the parties and the civil society institutions on the other hand.
2- Blocking the marring method adopted by some party newspapers against opponents or allies, condemning accusations of infidelity and blasphemy and focusing on the program issues whether in agreement of disagreement.
3- Some opposition parties should work on dispersing the doubts of the public opinion regarding the extent of strength and credibility of their tendencies towards reform and that it is not a mere political maneuver to make a deal with the ruling party.

The signatory institutions agree that Egypt is approaching a particular historical moment that should be honestly invested to push Egypt towards a serious course for reform. Such a fact necessitates managing a long-term, healthy and strategic social dialogue on these issues and the program, methodology and plan of action for building a strong ground for reform and guiding the reform locomotive on its right track.

This post is also available in: العربية