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LI President on Egypt: Democratic legitimacy is not only gained through the ballot box (UPDATED)
Tuesday 2 July 2013 13:07

Following the removal of Mohamed Morsi, LI President, Hans van Baalen MEP, has released a statement: "the Army has taken responsibility by removing Morsi and I express support for the interim government which was sworn in today".

The LI President continued: "The Egyptian soldiers have taken the responsibility to prevent further derailment of the Muslim Brotherhood and their leader Mohamed Morsi. The European Union and Member States should work closely with the interim government to ensure stability in the Mediterranean area".

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In response to the on-going protests in Tahrir Square and across Egypt, LI President Hans van Baalen MEP, reacts to the speech from President Morsi: Democratic legitimacy is not only gained through the ballot box; it is won through the policies implemented. Legitimacy is drawn from good governance, too".

 The LI President continued: "The Egyptian liberals and the people who demonstrate have more than a reason to question Morsi’s legitimacy. Against a backdrop of dangerous divisions in the Arab World, Morsi’s polarising administration has failed to kick-start the Egyptian economy, improve security and protect minority groups.

In the post-Murbarak era Egypt needs a government that will constructively address the animosities between the various groups within its borders and respect the international agreements.

The protest rallies that started on 30 June, the first anniversary of President Morsi’s inauguration, are a clear signal from the Egyptian people that now is the time for a strong liberal presence that can bridge sectarian divides and unite Egypt. LI stands firmly with its members in their quest for a true representative and inclusive democracy, that would respect the will of the majority and will protect the will of the minorities”.

Please click here for an Arabic translation of President Van Baalen's statement.

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Liberal International recalls a statement made by LI Deputy President, Dr Juli Minoves, from June, which affirmed: “LI will not remain silent while democratic freedoms are erased in Egypt”.

 

As Egyptian protestors gather in Tahrir Square to voice their anger at the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government of President Mohammed Morsi, Ahmad Hariri, who sits on LI Bureau, comments: "What's happening in Egypt is just another reason for us to strongly hold to our values and principles in Lebanon and the region. Many called it Winter or Fall, but the Egyptian people like always showed us the true Arab Spring. Its not a matter of dates 25 January or 30 June, it is the voice of the people that nothing will mute."


FNF (LI Cooperating Organisation) Regional Director, Dr Ronald Meinardus, has described the protests asthe biggest in Egyptian history with people who have never before been active in political protests now involved. 

Speaking exclusively to LI, Dr Meinardus underlined the gravity and importance of the protests for the future of political Islam and liberalism in the Middle East: "We are witnessing an unprecedented popular mobilization of the Egyptian masses directed against the rule of the Islamist president. The political drama unfolding in Egypt may well develop into a game changer for the role of political Islam in the Arab world and beyond. The obvious loss of popularity and appeal of the Islamist forces could bring new opportunities for liberal politics. To overcome the many challenges Egypt is facing, today more than ever liberal politics and leadership are needed."

The opposition wants Mursi to step down, and is threatening a general strike. Some members of the opposition are speculating of the involvement of the Army following an ultimatum from the military, which gives Morsi 48 hours to resolve the country’s crisis.

 

The Free Egyptians Party, the president of which, Dr Ahmad Said, addressed the opening ceremony of LIs 190th Executive Committee in Beirut, said it has observed a campaign of "organized sexual harassment" inside Tahrir Square. The Free Egyptians, a liberal political party set up in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, said this will not dull the new wave of protests, and represents a "failed attempt to keep a regime that has lost its legitimacy", the Party said in a statement on Monday 1 July 2013.

The immediate past president of the Arab Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (LI Cooperating Organisation), the famous Egyptian writer and activist Wael Nawara, publishes an article "It's the Egyptian Identity, Stupid", saying: "If the January 25 revolution was about freedom, justice and dignity, the protests of June 30 were about Egyptians salvaging their Egyptian identity."

 

ALDE Group's (LI Full Member) representative in Cairo, Koert Debeuf, has published a report on Egypt in which he predicted a "major confrontation". Noting that opposition groups have been calling for President Morsi to stand down and organise early presidential elections, citing a graph charting Morsi's rapid decline in popularity not long after he entered Office, Debeuf warns: "The biggest problem for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood is that in their eyes all opposition and all media are not opponents but enemies. It is against this ‘tyranny of the majority’ that people are going to the street on 30 June".

 

 
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