CAIRO: Jailed opposition leader Ayman Nour said Wednesday that his case represented only one of the many problems confronting the political reform movement in Egypt. “I believe that political reform should not be reduced to only my case, he said in a statement released through his office to coincide with the visit to Egypt of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. But he added that his case remained an example of Egypt s deficiency in the democratic process.
Nour, the runner-up in Egypt s presidential election, was jailed in December for five years for allegedly forging official documents in order to form his El-Ghad (Tomorrow) party.
The sentence capped a six-month trial that his supporters called a political show and which put Washington at loggerheads with President Hosni Mubarak s government. Rice reiterated her disappointment at Nour s arrest after meetings with Egyptian officials late Tuesday, calling it a setback. Nour said that he was grateful for all the efforts being exerted in the free world and Egypt in defense of his just case, but added that he was betting on the Egyptian people and their sympathy and enthusiasm for change and reform. While praising the efforts of Mubarak s government to open up the political arena, Washington has made no secret of its disappointment at the continued hurdles faced by opposition parties. AFP