A joint statement calling for the removal of Port Said’s governor was released by five different political parties and populist movements on Wednesday. The statement criticises the governor’s “weak administrative capacity,” his handling of corruption and his ability to deal with day to day problems. Several signatory groups have since denied any knowledge of the statement.
Among the signatories were the Free Egyptians Party, Wafd Party, Karama Party and the Egyptian Popular Current Party. The people’s Committee for the Defence of the Egyptian Revolution, as well as the Port Said Coalition of Revolutionary Youth, also signed the statement.
The signatories demand the governor be replaced and placed three conditions upon a new appointment. Firstly, they demand the governor be a non-military figure. The second demand was to elect an independent, non-partisan figure with experience, administrative efficiency and of good repute. The third demand was a governor who could commit to a clear plan to cleanse the local administration of corruption, and work towards the development and promotion of conservation.
Several members of the Wafd Party denied any knowledge of the statement. Ahmed Mahmoud Atallah from Wafd denied his party was a signatory and would participate in such a demonstration, saying party members only involve themselves in large demonstrations with real significance. Another member, Sherief Taher, said he was not aware of any such statement and found it highly unlikely the Wafd would sign such a statement.
Members of the Egyptian Popular Current Party were also unsure of the statement. A spokesperson for the party said he had no knowledge of the statement and was not sure who had released it on their Facebook page.
The spokesperson for the Free Egyptians Party, Ahmed Khairy, also had no knowledge of the statement, and assumed it was written and signed by the local wing in Port Said. “If it is not a fake then it was written by local committees,” he said. Khairy stressed that official party statements can only be made by the heads of the party after deliberation. The statement, he said, is not the official party stance at this moment in time because the party has not had the chance to discuss it.
“If one of our members did sign the statement then we will investigate it and take the necessary action,” Khairy said.
The statement also accuses the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis in Port Said of calling the signatories “advocates of sedition and anti-stability.”
Yasser Hassan, the secretary general of the Nasserist party and lawyer within the International Criminal Bar, said that all political currents in Port Said agree that the governor has failed in his job. The Muslim Brotherhood, he continued, are trying to push for a governor of their own. “Speaking as the secretary general,” he said, “we are against the appointment of a brotherhood governor because we want to avoid having an Ikhwan in every major political office.”
Hassan said the various parties are set to meet tonight in order to discuss the matter.