‘Third Current’ established to support civil state

Dozens of activists and political and public figures held a press conference on Thursday to announce a new front called the Third Current, which aims to preserve the civil state.

The conference was attended by representatives of the campaigns of former presidential candidates Amr Moussa, Hamdeen Sabbahi and Khaled Ali, as well as politicians, lawyers and former MPs.

The speakers at the conference claimed that the Third Current is an important organization for those who support neither Islamist political parties nor the military council, which were the two political forces represented in the recent presidential election, they said. They claimed that a significant segment of society was obliged to choose between these two camps although they supported neither.

In a statement issued by the founders of the group, the Third Current says it will continue the struggle through political and public work to build Egypt as a “democratic state whose constitution cements the rule of law.”

Founders of the group pointed out that Egypt has witnessed a difficult interim period, in which political Islamic movements on more than one occasion allied with the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in order to achieve a monopoly of power.

However, the statement also stressed that members of the Third Current would respect the will of the people and that they accept the results of the presidential election. They called on President-elect Mohamed Morsy to respect the principles of democracy and human rights.

The signatories stressed that they strive toward “a state based on the rule of law and equality between citizens,” and that they were committed to “fighting any tyranny, with all their powers, whether it uses religion and sectarian divisions to build a religious state, or military that exploits people's fear.”

The statement declared that the Third Current's aim is to “defend basic rights and freedoms, and to be an effective political opposition group.”

“It is time for society to get out of the state of polarization which it was pushed into,” the group declared.

The statement concluded by emphasizing its opposition to the recent decree that had allowed military personnel to arrest civilians and the formation of the National Defense Council, as well as the recent supplement to the Constitutional Declaration which expanded the powers of the SCAF while diminishing those of the new president.

In his statement, former MP Amr Hamzawy stressed the need to respect the rule of law, as well as the importance of coordination between political forces in major battles, such as the drafting of the constitution and the parliamentary elections.

Political activist George Ishaq said, “If it were not for the blood of the martyrs, the president-elect wouldn't have arrived to the presidential palace.”

“This is our last opportunity to come together united and not to exclude anyone’s voice, because we want to restore national cohesion in order to fight Egypt's next battle — the battle of the civil state,” Ishaq added.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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