Thursday, January 10, 2013

Egyptian Opposition Groups Call for Protests on Anniversary of Uprising

Egyptian opposition groups call for protests on anniversary of uprising

Ahram Online, Wednesday 9 Jan 2013

April 6 Youth Movement and National Front for Change to protest against ‘deteriorating’ economy and ‘undemocratic’ political situation on two-year anniversary of Egypt’s uprising

The April 6 Youth Movement and the National Front for Change have announced they will hold protests on the second anniversary of January 25 Revolution.

The front made the call in a statement released on Wednesday to protest against the recently approved constitution.

Egyptians should defend their right to a "consensual" constitution, one that reflects the "spirit of the revolution" and fulfils its demands for which hundreds died, it added.

Moreover, people should oppose the "coup against democratic principles" [i.e. the constitutional declaration] that was used by President Morsi to "immunise illegitimate bodies, such as the Constituent Assembly and the Shura Council," from judicial oversight.

April 6 Youth Movement (Democratic Front) on Wednesday criticised the ruling Freedom and Justice Party and President Mohamed Morsi in a statement:

"Morsi and the [Muslim Brotherhood] do not have a clear project for building Egypt and its economy and they are mainly concerned with dominating the country’s leadership and excluding all opposition."

It went on to say there was no difference between ousted president Hosni Mubarak and President Morsi because "the first could not protect protestors in Tahrir Square and the latter could not protect them in front of his presidential palace."

The group also said the economy had deteriorated since Morsi came to power.

Morsi’s decision to raise prices, which was then postponed for "unknown reasons," reflected the "absence of a clear economic strategy."

Morsi is "completely detached" from the Egyptian people, it claimed, and his statements on the economy are unrealistic.

The group justified the continuation of labour strikes becasue workers are suffering from “unjust” pay and working conditions.

Other movements and political parties are expected to participate in events marking the two-year anniversary of the January 25 Revolution.

Thousands protest deteriorating sewage system in Egypt's second city

Ahram Online, Wednesday 9 Jan 2013

Political forces join Alexandria's slum-dwelling residents to demonstrate against negligence by sewage authority after numerous complaints ignored and homes flooded following torrential rain

Thousands of inhabitants of Alexandria's slums protested against their living conditions Wednesday afternoon in front of the city's Holding Authority for Water and Waste Water offices in the El-Shobty neighbourhood, reported Al-Ahram Arabic Language news website.

Members of political forces including the April 6 Youth group and the Kefaya protest movement joined hundreds of citizens from Alexandria neighbourhoods of El-Agamy, Sidi Gaber, Bab Sharqi and Abu Suleiman, to protest the Holding Authority's failure to effectively conduct maintenance throughout the city as well as their neglect of the informal settlements.

Protesters mocked the El-Nahda (renaissance) project, a plan of reforms for the country launched by the Muslim Brotherhood and promoted by President Mohamed Morsi, chanting, "Enough with the renaissance, enough. Alexandria is gone not coming" and "One, two, where did the renaissance go?"

The demonstration initially began Tuesday night as protestors closed streets in an attempt to draw attention to their homes flooded with sewage water as a result of the breakdown in the country's sewage networks.

A severe shortage of affordable housing has forced impoverished inhabitants of Egypt's second city to live in inhumane conditions: the small shacks of Alexandria's slums are barely big enough to house the families.

Muhammed Abdel-Hakim, a resident of the Abu Suleiman neighbourhood, told Al-Ahram that the director of the sewage authority should be removed from his position, as he ignored complaints made by Hakim and a number of the other slum residents.

According to Hakim, the Holding Authority's secretary did not allow them to meet the chief and their numerous complaints were met with no response.

Speaking to Al-Ahram, another resident Fouad Mahmoud, who lives in Ezbet El-Mattar in the Sidi Gaber neighborhood, said that the streets around his home had become ponds where people can access their homes.

No government official has given any attention to the issue, Mahmoud added, despite the fact that he together with his neighbours had submitted several complaints to the offices of the governor and the deputy governor.

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