Revolutionary groups to march against ‘safe exit’ for military rulers

Fifty-six revolutionary groups on Monday called for marching to Parliament to pressure it to prevent the conduct of presidential elections and the drafting of the constitution while Egypt’s military leaders are still in power.

In a statement, the groups said they will organize two marches Tuesday afternoon under the titles of “Maspero” and “Egypt’s Women” to denounce the possibility of what they called “a safe exit” from power for the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

All Egypt’s rulers have come from the military since a 1952 coup against the monarchy. Some observers say the military hopes to keep its internal budget and business interests from civilian oversight after the transition.

The safe exit agreement would guarantee that the generals have immunity after ceding power.

The revolutionary groups decried a safe exit for SCAF, as well as presidential elections and the drafting of the constitution under military rule in the statement, which came to be called the “Three Nos.”

Groups that signed the statement include Adl Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Popular Socialist Alliance, the Free Front for Peaceful Change, the Lotus Revolution Coalition, the Youth Movement for Justice and Freedom, the 25 January Revolution Youth Coalition, the April 6 Youth Movement, the Union of Revolution Youth and the Maspero Youth Union.

Egypt’s military leaders faced criticism in the second half of 2011 after they stayed in power despite a promise to transfer to civilian rule six months after President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster on 11 February.

Military forces and protesters clashed several times over the past year. The violence killed dozens of protesters at the Maspero state TV building in October and at the Council of Ministers building in December.

The Maspero March will start at 4 pm at Gate 4 of the state TV building, while the women’s march, also scheduled to start at 4 pm, will start at the Saad Zaghloul mausoleum after a moment of silence to honor the 25 January revolution martyrs.  

The same revolutionary groups had launched an initiative to call on Parliament to form a committee to investigate the killings of protesters since last January and to refer those implicated in the killings to trial.

The groups called for the formation of a parliamentary committee to prepare for presidential elections and for presidential nominations to open 11 February at the latest, with elections held within 60 days of that date.

The groups called for the formation of a panel of local civil society organizations and revolutionary groups to observe the electoral process side by side with judicial authorities.

Meanwhile, the 56 groups condemned what they described as “blatant attempts by thugs paid by the security apparatus” to clash with protesters at Maspero on Sunday to create a premise for security to forcibly break up the protests.

They said they will not allow a repeat of the “massacre” that took place at Maspero, holding SCAF and Interior Ministry responsible in advance for any violence against protesters. SCAF and the Interior Ministry are responsible for safeguarding the people’s right to peaceful protest, which is upheld by the Interim Constitution and international human rights charters," the groups' statement said.

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