By Tamim Elyan
CAIRO: The ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) denied accusations that it arranged an attack on pro-democracy protesters in Tahrir Square Wednesday.
NDP member of the Shoura Council Mostafa El-Fiqi said he had information that businessmen affiliated with the party were behind “organizing attacks” on protesters.
“They paid thugs to attack protestors under the guise of pro-Mubarak demonstrations,” El-Fiqi told several news channels late on Wednesday.
The opposition National Coalition for Change on Wednesday held the NDP responsible for any clashes between protesters in Tahrir Square.
The NDP denied these accusations and said that they issued strict instructions to its supporters not to approach any anti-regime gatherings.
“We don’t want the factionalism of events in Egypt; the clashes were between protesters and people who are supportive of President Mubarak’s speech and whose livelihoods have been affected by the current protests but it went out of control,” Maged Al-Sherbeeny, who replaced Ahmed Ezz at the NDP, told Daily News Egypt.
Clashes between protestors In Tahrir Square and pro-Mubarak demonstrations on Wednesday, in which Molotov cocktails were used, left at least six dead and more than 1,000 injured.
“Party members who went to demonstrations Wednesday were all at Mostafa Mahmoud Square in Mohandessin and none of them went to Tahrir,” Al-Sherbeeny said.
He held the Muslim Brotherhood responsible for the clashes “to carry on their agenda of starting a conflict between the people and the army” and called for all sides to abide by the curfew ordered by the military authorities.
“They want the army either to enter a direct confrontation with them and then they would take revenge for banning the group in 1954 after President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s assassination attempt or the army wouldn’t interfere and they would announce Egypt as an Islamic emirate,” Al-Shebeeny said.
The MB described these accusations as “complete lies and fabrications.”
“We don’t have any control on the people there; our presence in the protests is like the rest of political factions and Egyptian youth who have been voicing their demands in a civilized manner for the past nine days,” Rashad Bayoumi, deputy MB leader, told Daily News Egypt.
“It has become a common practice for the regime to use thugs as seen in every elections and it shows that they aren’t willing to change,” he added.
People Assembly Speaker Fathy Sorour said that they have started receiving challenges on the legitimacy of some of the parliament members by the cassation court and are studying them.
“We will announce on Sunday the suspension of sessions until all challenges have been reviewed by the constitutional and legislative affairs committee,” Sorour said in a press conference.
Vice president, Omar Sulieman, and Prime minister, Ahmed Shafik, met Thursday with a number of Political parties’ representatives who agreed to initiate a dialogue with the regime.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry refused calls by foreign countries for the immediate initiation of the change process in Egypt. Any scenarios for a transitional period different than the one suggested by President Mubarak would cause a major constitutional crisis, the ministry said.
“The opposition who refused to initiate dialogue and demanded that President Mubarak leaves power is practicing political futility because if he did, they won’t accept dialogue with any other regime figures since they aim at bringing down the state not the regime,” Al-Sherbeeny said.
“They called for a national association to take control for a transitional period but with the current disputes between the different political factions especially with the MB, it will lead to a massive political crisis and maybe a civil war,” he added.
Al-Sherbeeny said that the party is presenting a new image of itself by appointing a vice president and changing its leaders and is willing to start a dialogue with everyone.
“There is a plot targeting Egypt and we must look for those who will benefit from it because the Egyptian people will be the ones who will pay the price,” he said.