Dr. Mostafa Hegazy, Egypt’s presidential advisor for political affairs, stated that the government is currently focusing more on the economic path and considering ways to take large leaps on the economic front.
Hegazy added, in a conference call organized by Beltone Financial, the economy is strong and capable of a strong recovery. The security situation is improving to a point where the government can really start having a strong developmental impact on the economic front.
He pointed out that, the political manifestation of Egyptians reclaiming their future on June 30th, 2013 is the political roadmap announced on July 8th, 2013, consisting of drafting the constitution and holding parliamentary elections followed by presidential elections.
The first milestone is the constitution, with the ten-member committee of technical experts already completing its work.
The committee, which was composed of constitutional scholars and constitutional jurists, finalized suggestions and changes to the 2012 constitution from a technical standpoint, not necessarily a political one.
The government is currently in the process of forming a 50-member assembly of Egyptian men and women to be chosen according the criteria declared on August 7th based on the constitutional declaration. With a broad spectrum of representation in the 50-member committee, the government is correcting the mistakes of the previous leadership that aspired to dominate the process of writing the constitution, leading to a constitution that was not representative of the entire Egyptian population. Within a week, we expect to have the 50-member assembly ready. They will work for about two months, after a referendum will be held on the final draft of the. During the two months there will be a national dialog on the constitutional suggestions.
The presidency/government will regulate the process, making sure it provides the appropriate umbrella and framework for the assembly’s work and for the national dialogue to take place. It is not interfering in any with the steps undertaken by the committee, but is making sure that no single party is over-politicizing the process.
According to the original roadmap, parliamentary elections would be called for a week after the constitution is voted on, and this stage should last two months. Presidential elections will be called for a week after parliament is instated.
However, currently there are debates surrounding the sequence of parliamentary and presidential elections: debates on which should take place first and whether or not they should take place simultaneously. The presidency is ready to receive suggestions and to look into them if they are well supported.
From a security standpoint and in dealing with the dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins, the Egyptian government undertook all effort and time suitable to solve the situation without having to resort to dispersing the sit-ins. It also worked diligently in trying to explain to the international community that what was happening on the ground was not a political dispute between a government and an opposition. The reality was Egypt faced war on terror and a war of attrition waged by extremist groups. In fact, extremist would be the most lenient description of them, with the most accurate being terrorist groups, which were waging war against the Egyptian people and the state.
The security situation has definitely been controlled from the first 24 hours of the sit-in dispersals and is improving by the minute. The curfew has been reduced, now starting 9pm instead of 7pm, and the government is thinking of reducing it further to start at 11pm. Very soon the emergency state will be lifted.
When the emergency state is lifted, there will be security measures undertaken by the government to make sure armed militias are removed from Egyptian society, as was done during the 1980s and 1990s. How long this will take and how strict the security measures will be are for security forces to determine. But it is the government’s political and strategic decision to maintain security for all citizens in the most professional way and in accordance with human rights.