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Campaign gathers signatures to support ElBaradei for president - Daily News Egypt

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Campaign gathers signatures to support ElBaradei for president

CAIRO: Gamila Ismail, political activist and ex-wife of opposition leader Ayman Nour, signed a proxy supporting Mohamed ElBaradei, former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, calling on him to form a constituent body to amend the Egyptian constitution. This comes as part of the campaign’s gathering of unofficial proxies to replace official powers of …


CAIRO: Gamila Ismail, political activist and ex-wife of opposition leader Ayman Nour, signed a proxy supporting Mohamed ElBaradei, former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, calling on him to form a constituent body to amend the Egyptian constitution.

This comes as part of the campaign’s gathering of unofficial proxies to replace official powers of attorney which have been prohibited.

Ismail is the first woman to join the committee for constitutional amendments that comprises public figures such as the coordinator of the Egyptian Campaign Against the Inheritance of Power, Hassan Nafie, and former coordinator of Kefaya George Ishaq.

The committee launched a campaign to gather citizens’ signatures for a petition to amend the constitution.

Ismail told Daily News Egypt that she has been closely following the campaign and that she was motivated by the participation of youth representing diverse political currents.

She added that she decided to join after meeting with novelist Alaa El-Aswany, one of the campaign’s coordinators.

However, she said that she turned down the post of the campaign’s general coordinator, “because I have become jaded towards positions and titles.

She explained that if there is a chance for the powers of attorney to be made official, she would be the first to head to the notary public to sign a proxy supporting ElBaradei.

“I believe that ElBaradei’s joining of any political party that suits him is the shortest and most reliable way to candidacy and hence change, she said.

A group named Ayez Haqqi (I Demand My Rights) has been attempting to gather signatures to grant powers of attorney to opposition leaders to call for a change in the Egyptian constitution.

Attempts to secure proxies authorizing ElBaradei and opposition figure Ayman Nour, among others, to change the Egyptian constitution have been met with refusals at police stations and notarization offices in Cairo and Alexandria, which led rights groups to submit a complaint to the Public Prosecutor’s office on Jan. 3.

Ayez Haqqi members also want to grant ElBaradei powers of attorney to allow him to run in the 2011 presidential elections.

Last week, the Nassar Human Rights Center also submitted a complaint to the Public Prosecutor, claiming that their attempts to grant powers of attorney to ElBaradei and Nour were also refused.

The notarization offices in question claimed that they were under orders from the Ministry of Justice branch in Alexandria to turn down any powers of attorney involving calls for constitutional change.

The Dahaya Human Rights Center condemned the refusal, labeling it “an illegal procedure against citizen rights, contravening Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Ayez Haqqi will also start collecting signatures to grant powers of attorney for Karama Party MP Hamdein Sabahy for the same end, with the premise that with enough signatures, he can raise the issue in parliament.

An aide to Nour told Daily News Egypt, “This is the brainchild of some Egyptian youths, and though I think it will not succeed because we will not be able to gather enough signatures to call for constitutional change, Ayman Nour will still pursue this issue.

Meanwhile, members of the campaign collecting citizens’ signatures along with members of the April 6 Movement are organizing a public reception for ElBaradei at Cairo Airport when he arrives in February.

Controversy loomed over the possibility of ElBaradei’s presidential candidacy in 2011, especially after he predicated it on constitutional amendments that guarantee fair elections.

The campaign supporting ElBaradei called on all the different political powers as well as activists and citizens to join the public reception.

“We expect over 7,000 people to head to the airport to welcome ElBaradei, Abdel Rahman Youssef, the campaign’s spokesman, told Daily News Egypt.

“The reception is one of many activities the campaign is organizing in support of ElBaradei as a presidential candidate, he added.

The April 6 youth Movement has also called on all its members nationwide to head to the airport.

“We started gathering all the members to welcome ElBaradei at Cairo Airport to express our support for his candidacy and to respond to the smear campaign launched against him by some newspapers, Ahmed Maher, general coordinator of the movement, said.

“We devised a political plan to promote ElBaradei through tours in colleges and schools to inform the public of the importance of supporting him and the direct effect this would have on their lives, he said.

Maher added that they plan to organize a meeting between the movement’s members and ElBaradei to discuss his nomination and what the movement can offer him. -Additional reporting by Abdel-Rahman Hussein.

Topics: Aboul Fotouh

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https://dailyfeed.dailynewsegypt.com/2010/01/11/campaign-gathers-signatures-to-support-elbaradei-for-president/
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