Cairo -

The announcement by the "National Dialogue" administration in Egypt to form the General Secretariat for Dialogue (the Board of Trustees) sparked widespread controversy between welcome, objection and question, amid ambiguity surrounding the start of the dialogue, in light of expectations that it may be postponed until after Eid al-Adha.

And last Sunday, the National Dialogue Department - which was called by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi last Ramadan - announced the formation of the Board of Trustees, which includes 19 members, "based on the consultation of the General Coordinator Diaa Rashwan with the political and trade union forces and the participating parties." Its first session is scheduled to be held in The first of next July.

This formation came against the wishes of the Civil Democratic Movement (the largest opposition entity inside Egypt);

In a statement issued on the seventh of last May, it had previously identified 7 controls for dialogue, including the formation of a technical secretariat responsible for preparing for the dialogue, managing it and formulating its outputs. By the two sides of the dialogue (the authority and the opposition).

Despite the absence of prominent party opposition figures from the formation, and ignoring the "civil movement" proposal, observers believe that there are some names affiliated with the opposition, or at least not affiliated with the authority, and they are the political thinker Samir Morcos, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Abdel Azim. Hammad, Member of Parliament Ahmed Al-Sharqawi, former Minister of Social Solidarity and member of the Politburo of the Gathering Party, Gouda Abdel-Khalek, Vice President of the Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies Amr Hashem Rabie, lawyer Negad Al-Borai, and member of the Board of Trustees of the Karama Party Kamal Zayed.


For his part, head of the Egyptian Constitution Party Alaa El-Khayyam said that "the formation of the General Secretariat for Dialogue disappointed us, especially since the authority did not commit to forming it equally between the government and the opposition, although we understood that it had agreed to this point previously."

In statements to Al-Jazeera Net, Al-Khayyam indicated that "the civil movement parties internally supported the formation of the Board of Trustees of the Dialogue, but there are a few parties that have expressly expressed their disappointment with this formation, including the Constitution Party."

He explained that the civil movement parties had presented a few days ago a complete vision for the formation of the General Secretariat, and this perception suggested the joining of 15 personalities - 5 of whom represent the opposition, 5 others represent the regime, and 5 are agreed upon between the two parties - but the authority unfortunately ignored this perception, as he put it. .

In turn, Al-Karama Party spokesman Imad Hamdi valued the step of announcing the names of the technical secretariat for the national dialogue, saying that we have no objection to them, although they did not reach the level of our ambition and were not the best thing;

We were waiting for the names to be neutral and expressive to a large extent of the required diversity.

Hamdi, a leader in the civil democratic movement, pointed out that they are waiting to nominate the Secretary-General of the National Dialogue Board of Trustees, explaining that the civil movement had previously submitted the nomination of the great scholar Dr. Muhammad Ghoneim for the position of the Secretary-General, but we do not yet know the position of the authority on him.

However, Khayyam confirmed that "the regime rejected Dr. Ghoneim's nomination without explaining his reasons, even though he is a prominent and consensual national figure, and so far they have not told us the name of their candidate for the position of the Secretary-General."

Muhammad Fayez Farhat, member of the National Dialogue Board of Trustees in #Egypt, told #Al Jazeera_Mubasher: There is no official talk about postponing the #National_Dialogue scheduled for the first of next July

- Al Jazeera Mubasher (@ajmubasher) June 26, 2022

many objections

For his part, the Assistant Secretary-General and member of the Supreme Committee of the Conservative Party, Magdy Hamdan, said that they had many objections to the formation of the Board of Trustees;

Because it does not reflect the general representation of the Egyptian society, and during the dialogue about the formation of the technical secretariat, 30 names were submitted to the national dialogue organizers to choose 10 or 15 people representing the opposition, adding, "But we were surprised that only 5 names were taken from them, and then the rest came from outside the opposition.

Speaking to Al-Jazeera Net, Hamdan added, "The national dialogue is supposed to be between the opposition and the authority - and not between the authority and the loyalists - in order to reach optimal solutions for the country's renaissance, but we are in front of a surprising formation, and some members are completely undesirable," as he described.

When asked about the entity that made the decision to form the board of trustees, Hamdan replied, "We do not know specifically. Hamdeen Sabahi presented Diaa Rashwan with a list of the names that we proposed, and in turn Rashwan submitted these names to the entity he deals with within the state, which we do not know."

In this context, Al-Karama Party spokesman Imad Hamdi considered that the general procedures regarding the national dialogue were unsatisfactory for them, especially since prisoners of conscience were not released to the extent hoped for in light of the tangible delay in this regard, as well as the absence of sufficient guarantees to prove the seriousness of this dialogue.

"The source adds that the authority is forced to stop some giant projects, stop its expansion plan in building new cities, and postpone the opening of the administrative capital,....but it wants this to come as if it were a response to the demands of its interlocutors and not because of the failure of its policy."

— Mona Seif (@Monasosh) June 27, 2022

Postponement of dialogue and security disputes

In light of these recent developments, the head of the Constitution Party, Alaa Khayyam, indicated that the dialogue may be postponed until after the Eid al-Adha holiday, especially in light of what he described as the current stumbling block, adding that the movement’s parties deal seriously and responsibly with the call for national dialogue, and are still waiting for it to deal order with his call with similar earnestness and responsibility.

While the Al-Karama Party spokesman indicated that there is nothing official so far regarding the postponement of the dialogue, and said, "We do not know if the dialogue will start on its official date or if it will actually be postponed."

On the other hand, the parties, unions and personalities supporting the ruling regime hastened to announce their support for the formation of the Board of Trustees and all the course of the national dialogue, which they said "is going more successfully than expected," considering - in statements and statements - that this formation carries great hopes for a convergence of views and the development of visions. common political, economic and social.

Yesterday, Monday, the Mada Masr news website quoted a source in the National Council for Human Rights that the agencies concerned with security policies do not agree on launching the dialogue;

Some of them see it as a fine idea, that the state will not be forced to do what it does not want, and that some venting for a while does not hurt.

The source - whose identity was not revealed on the site - added that others believe that opening the door to politics, which was closed at a very critical time in terms of the economic situation and in terms of limited regional and international support, cannot be considered a good idea.

Presidential pardon controversy

In a related context, the controversy continues over the inclusion of presidential pardon lists for detainees belonging to the Brotherhood, especially in the wake of recent statements made by a member of the presidential pardon committee, Tariq Al-Awadi, to Al-Jazeera Mubasher channel, last Sunday;

That "there is no objection to the committee from studying and examining the names of Brotherhood prisoners or those affiliated with them, to release them, provided that they have not been involved in violence."

Khiam, for his part, believes that "the file of detainees did not witness a tangible, rather limited, resolution, and the Amnesty Committee did not play any significant role, with our respect for everyone who makes any efforts in this regard, but all of those released so far are about 100 prisoners, while they They promised to release more than 1,000 detainees," stressing that "our main goal is comprehensive political reform and the release of detainees."

Magdy Hamdan also revealed that the former minister, Kamal Abu Aita, presented the Amnesty Committee with a list of approximately 1,400 names, in order to release them as part of the expected presidential pardon on the occasion of the anniversary of the 30th of June.

But Hamdan clarified that this possible list includes those belonging to the civil forces only, in addition to many other names who did not practice politics and were imprisoned in different circumstances, adding that there is a study of the files of some prisoners belonging to the political Islam movement, and the presidential pardon committee still has some names of those who Their hands were not stained with blood.

It is noteworthy that Diaa Rashwan said - in televised statements - that there is no place in the national dialogue for anyone who said that they were involved, incited or participated in "bloodshed", and for anyone who was legally described as a "terrorist group", which some considered as words that also apply to the Presidential pardon lists.

It includes about 1,047 prisoners.. The "Presidential Pardon" committee announces a new list within days that may include fellow journalist Hisham Abdelaziz and assurances that "the Brotherhood will not be excluded from the pardon" on the condition that "violence is not practiced"

- Al Jazeera Egypt (@AJA_Egypt) June 27, 2022

Probability of interruption

On the final position of the civil movement from participating in the national dialogue, Imad Hamdi said, "If the controls and limitations that we presented earlier are not achieved, we will certainly not participate in this dialogue, and therefore we are waiting for the announcement of the agenda and the axes related to the dialogue, so that the foundations and criteria that we will discuss will become clear. on her".

While Alaa Al-Khayyam said, "We still adhere to the statement that we issued on the seventh of last May, and we certainly will not back down from what was stated in it," noting that "the authority responded to a small part of what we demanded, but that response is absolutely not commensurate with the time that has passed." And we can say that their response reaches only about 20% of our demands.”

He considered that the "national dialogue" is just a word with unclear definitions so far, and all the details, procedures and powers are vague, and there are no clear criteria regarding the selection of people, adding that "if things are going like this regarding the Board of Trustees, then what about the participants themselves. Unfortunately, there is a lack of transparency and clarity The whole thing,” he believes.

A source within the civil movement said, "We accepted the person, Diaa Rashwan, as the general coordinator of the dialogue, despite the lack of consensus on it within the movement, but we announced our rejection and objection to Counselor Mahmoud Fawzy, who was appointed as head of the technical secretariat for the national dialogue. This is very frustrating for us, and it may force us to interrupt the dialogue sessions, which we do not hope, but it may be the straw that breaks the camel's back."

Speaking to Al-Jazeera Net, the source (who requested anonymity) said that "there are differences within the civil movement regarding the position on the national dialogue and its course, and there are even differences within the one party," expressing his fear that the civil movement will transform from an "opposition movement to a mere mere A reform movement, especially in light of the decline in the demands of many, and the acceptance of some measures by the authority, even if it is against their desire.”