Egypt Independent

Hamzawy: dialogue with presidency is important

Amr Hamzawy, a prominent opposition figure, has called on political parties to respond to President Mohamed Morsy’s call for national dialogue

in order to ensure free and fair elections, especially as a number of opposition forces have announced they would boycott the polls slated to begin on 22 April.

He used his Twitter feed to address the fact that a number of political parties and the main opposition coalition National Salvation Front, of which he is a member, have rejected the president's call to dialogue.

“Responsibility requires us to attend the open dialogue session the presidency has called for in order to present the president with our demands for the benefit of the nation,” Amr Hamzawy, a political law professor and former member of Parliament, said.

“National engagement is the only way out of the current crisis,” he added in a tweet on Tuesday.

Several opposition groups had voiced criticism of the recently passed parliamentary election law, particularly aspects related to the delineation of constituencies. Some parties, including the Dostour Party and the Constitution Party, have said they will boycott the polls.

However, the former member of Parliament also said procedural guarantees for fair elections remain incomplete, which endangers the entire political process.

“If guarantees for fair elections are not in place, then boycotting the polls would be an obligatory decision,” he said.

Hamzawy warned against any state of chaos that would force the military to intervene once again in the political process.

“Seeking the army’s support against an elected president destroys politics and would not bring human rights violations to an end, but would rather exacerbate them and open the door to serious social violence,” he tweeted.

Nevertheless, he holds Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood responsible for the political dilemma.

“The president and his group are responsible for the absence of the foundations of an equitable political process that has led some forces to declare a boycott of the parliamentary polls,” he said.

Hamzawy said the regime is proceeding with preparations for the elections despite unresolved demands by opposition groups, which include the appointment of a neutral Cabinet, changes to disputed constitutional provisions and the removal of the prosecutor general appointed last year by presidential decree.