The Committee for Population Issues at the National Dialogue holds a session on the overpopulation problem in Egypt- press photo
CAIRO - 19 September 2023: The National Dialogue's administration highlighted that their Council of Trustees views the upcoming presidential elections as an invaluable opportunity. This perspective is aimed at fostering shared spaces among all facets of Egyptian society, from its elites to its masses.
Such a move is seen as foundational for the new republic, especially in alignment with the president's call for dialogue. This comes at a time when constitutional procedures for presidential elections are about to commence. Historically, such elections have always represented the pinnacle of political and constitutional mandates in Egypt's modern era.
The council expressed its gratitude towards the legitimate political forces, civil society organizations, and the general public for their positive response and wide-ranging, constructive contributions towards the president's initiative for dialogue.
As a result, the council urges all active forces in Egypt's political arena, including supporters, opponents, and independents, to treat the upcoming presidential elections as a pivotal commitment. It believes this election will fortify the trajectory towards a modern civil democratic rule of law, rather than viewing it as just another significant political event.
The National Dialogue, through its official Facebook page, emphasized that achieving such a perspective requires positivity, transparency, and mutual trust. Given that the democratic transformation process is inherently long, with various phases and milestones.
The Council of Trustees of the National Dialogue presents several core principles to the public and political forces. These principles aim to guide pluralistic and competitive presidential elections to set the stage for subsequent phases to continue Egypt's democratic transition. They include:
Firstly, Supporting the Egyptian political life:
This has become crucial and feasible without risk, especially after the nation has successfully eradicated threats of terrorism, extremism, violence, and incitement. A primary requirement of this support is to continue the state's efforts in reviewing the status of detainees, those held in precautionary custody, and those barred from travel – excluding those convicted or accused of using or inciting violence.
It also entails amending the provisions of precautionary detention in a way that prevents this protective measure from becoming a form of punishment without judicial verdicts.
Secondly: Management of the upcoming presidential elections:
If it is required from the state's institutions and agencies to maintain an equal distance from all candidates for the presidency, ensuring their constitutional and legal rights and equal opportunities, it is necessary to emphasize the right of anyone who wishes to run for this position to have freedom of movement, to seek endorsements, communicate with voters, and receive equal media coverage, each according to their capacity and the public's trust, within the limits of the law.
It is also necessary to encourage citizens to actively participate in the elections, considering them the ultimate goal of any political process in the country, in line with the local and international interest in these elections as the most important electoral entitlement.
Moreover, it is essential to raise voters' awareness of the electoral process, in cooperation with civil society organizations, professional and labor unions, and various media outlets, based on the vision of the National Election Authority in cooperation with the concerned authorities and the electoral timeline.
Equally important is facilitating the procedures for the participation of Egyptians abroad in this significant constitutional entitlement by establishing the rules governing it, in accordance with the specific conditions of Egyptians living abroad. This includes determining the locations and numbers of these committees on time, in coordination with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Also, expanding the participation of people with special needs in public life and facilitating the procedures for them to exercise this right.
Thirdly: Building trust post the presidential elections:
This entails a full and declared commitment from all political and societal parties to continue rejecting and combating forces of terrorism and extremism, those whose hands are stained with the blood of Egyptians, and those who have used violence and attempted to exploit religion in political work.
Also, it is a must to focus on citizens' political education and supporting the right to freedom of civil and syndicate work through establishing and publicizing labor union organizations and other forms of civil and public gatherings, consistent with the constitution.
Furthermore, it is everyone's immediate and pressing duty to agree that any economic reform or development effort aims to improve the Egyptians' living standards, with economic decisions that ensure a dignified life and achieve social justice.
Likewise, the necessary rationalization measures for public spending should be applied without hindering state plans and projects, promoting production and exports to support our national currency, and subsequently supporting the living standards of all citizens.
At the forefront of these measures is greater governance of the general budget, providing more freedom for the private sector to operate, opening new areas for it, ensuring competitive neutrality, and protecting the most vulnerable segments of society.
The Board of Trustees of the National Dialogue, driven by hope for a more secure, prosperous future and a higher status for Egypt and all its citizens, expects all political forces in the country, supporters, opponents, independents, and the general public, to commit to these principles in both letter and spirit.