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The way forward for political life in Egypt
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 02 - 07 - 2011

CAIRO - Major people are worried about the increasing influence of religion in political life. According to Abdel-Aziz Hegazi, head of the NGOs Federation, what is happening now in Egypt is one of the results of the revolution, arguing that real democracy should mean getting in touch with the man in the street and offering him the services he needs.
He also believes that the Muslim Brotherhood aren't the most appropriate organisation for doing this.
As for the forthcoming parliamentary elections and the possibility of religious parties making gains in them, Hegazi says that NGOs must raise the voters' awareness of this.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Fayek, Deputy Chairman of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), says that the Council wants fair and transparent polls.
“The NCHR has already started to train a large number of NGOs to hold seminars to raise people's political awareness and encourage them to vote in the forthcoming elections,” he notes, adding that the Council is calling for international and local monitors for the polls.
Activist Mohamed Zare' believes that we shouldn't blame the NGOs for the political divisions and the dominance of the Brotherhood.
“The problem is the absence of real political parties. This has made the Egyptian people politically apathetic, which was why the dissolved National Democratic Party was able to dominate everything,” he says.
According to Zare', it would be wrong for one particular power to steal the revolution, because the revolution is for all the Egyptian people.
“Democracy requires a lot of time and effort and it means that all political and human rights must be respected,” he stresses.
Meanwhile, the New World Foundation for Development and Human Rights has called for all NGOs to draw up a new 'roadmap' for the transitional period that Egypt is currently passing through.
This map should include the NGOs' plans for projects to develop and effect in society. They need to come up with new ideas for supporting a democratic, civil state; these ideas need to be discussed with society first.
All human rights organisations have been calling for moving activities outside the capital, as well as raising people's awareness of their political rights and how to defend against violations by governmental bodies.
Efforts must also be made to improve life for people living in remote areas in countryside, particularly in Upper Egypt.

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