Parties, movements to take part in protest on Friday

Thirteen movements and parties announced on Tuesday that they will protest on Friday to demand the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) set a date no later than 5 April 2012 to open nominations for the presidential elections. They will also demand that the presidential elections take place on 5 May.

The Salafi Front, the Salafi Coalition, April 6 Youth Movement, the Revolution Union, the Liberal Front for Change and the Democratic Front issued a joint statement.

Islamist presidential hopeful Hazem Abu Ismail called for a demonstration under the slogan “One Demand Friday” and agreed with other participating groups to limit demands to an early date for presidential elections

The elections are currently expected at the end of 2013.

The joint statement demanded that the SCAF “transfer power to the head of the People’s Assembly in a timetable stipulating a date for applications to run in the presidential elections that is no later than 5 April.”

The statement accused the SCAF of ignoring criticism of the slow pace of transition, the media blackout on trials of former regime figures, and the failure to issue a law to stop former regime figures from participating in politics.

Khaled Saeed, spokesperson for the Salafi Front, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the various groups met and signed the statement, agreeing to take part in the demonstration.

Haitham Abu Khalil, who defected from the Muslim Brotherhood and is now a senior figure in the would-be Reyada Party, said: ”The party will participate, and we are with any activity that would protect the revolution. He also affirmed his support for the April deadline for presidential nominations.

The Jama'a al-Islamiya, the Salafi-led Nour and Asala parties, and the Reform and Awakening Party refused to take part in the demonstration.

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