Egypt Needs Inclusive Political Process to Move Forward | Freedom House

Egypt Needs Inclusive Political Process to Move Forward

Washington

Freedom House calls on the interim government of Egypt to lead an inclusive and transparent process in preparing for early elections in the wake of the military’s removal of President Mohamed Morsi from office. Although the road map presented by Armed Forces Chief Abdul Fatah al-Sisi together with opposition leaders provides an opportunity to move Egypt toward democracy, Freedom House is deeply concerned by the decision to depose an elected president.

Al-Sisi announced that the constitution is suspended and the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court will lead an interim government of technocrats, which will prepare for early presidential elections.  The announcement follows days of massive anti-government protests, clashes between Morsi supporters and opponents that have left at least a dozen people dead and hundreds injured, and Morsi’s refusal to step down. The road map calls for a committee broadly representing Egyptian society to review proposed constitutional amendments, enactment of a new election law, preparations for parliamentary elections, and guarantees for media freedom, but does not set a date for presidential elections. The reported closure of media outlets associated with the Muslim Brotherhood is incompatible with these goals.

“We look to the interim government to re-start a transition to democracy through an inclusive process that brings together a broad spectrum of political currents in Egypt,” said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president of Freedom House. “Although the situation is highly polarized, a credible democratic transition cannot get underway unless both Islamist and secularist parties can shape the path forward. Moreover, the process of amending the constitution and holding elections needs to take place in an expedited timeframe and in an environment where fundamental rights, particularly the freedom for civil society to operate, are protected.”

Morsi was elected president in June 2012 and subsequently became a polarizing figure, governing based on the narrow interests of his Freedom and Justice Party and other Islamist parties and disregarding alternative views. Over the past year, human rights violations have continued, including impunity for security officials responsible for attacks on protestors, torture in prisons and jails, and restrictions on media freedom. Morsi’s government also pushed a draft law on associations that would impose tighter controls over civil society organizations.

Egypt is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2013, Freedom House’s annual global survey of political rights and civil liberties, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2013 and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2012.

Learn more:

Freedom in the World 2013: Egypt

Freedom of the Press 2012: Egypt

Countries at the Crossroads 2012: Egypt

Freedom on the Net 2012: Egypt

Blog: Freedom at Issue

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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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