Egypt Independent

Abouel Fotouh calls on president to hold dialogue with opposition

Strong Egypt Party chief Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh

called on the president to hold a dialogue with opposition leaders following the outbreak of violence that coincided with the 25 January revolution commemoration.

Abouel Fotouh, in a news conference Sunday, called for an immediate dialogue that would include President Mohamed Morsy, Popular Current movement leader Hamdeen Sabbahi, Dostour Party chief Mohamed ElBaradei, Freedom and Justice Party President Saad al-Katatny and Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat al-Shater.
Abouel Fotouh, a former presidential candidate, proposed that the dialogue tackle disputed articles in the Constitution as well as social and interim justice issues. He also called for investigating the recent violence that has erupted in several governorates. 
Clashes broke out on the 25 January anniversary Friday, when mass protests denounced what demonstrators saw as a Brotherhood monopolization of power. At least nine people were killed — mainly in Suez, where the army has been deployed — and violence has continued since then in several cities.
About 32 people have also been killed in Port Said in protest against a ruling that condemned 21 defendants in the Port Said stadium massacre last year to death, pending approval from the grand mufti.
"We should give hope to youth that the elders, either in power or opposition, are able to communicate with each other," Abouel Fotouh said. 
He added that the initiative was a personal one, and not on behalf of the party.
"I don't support the downfall of the president, but pressure on him," the former Brotherhood member said. 
Abouel Fotouh also criticized the Armed Forces and police for not being prepared for the Port Said violence after the court ruling. He highlighted security's role in protecting protesters, and of not being neutral while letting others ruin peaceful protests.