Press release: EU must support early presidential elections in Egypt


The behaviour of the Egyptian security forces has gone from bad to worse over recent months to the extent that they have now betrayed the democratic revolution itself.

ALDE Press release, 21.12.2011

The Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) demonstrated by its threats at its latest press conference that it is not capable to rule the country in a democratic way. ALDE therefore supports the demand of the Egyptian opposition to organise presidential elections as soon as possible and request that the EU and its Member States back this demand.

Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader: “The security forces are there to protect the people, not to persecute them. Their actions against civilian protesters are disgraceful. We therefore support the proposal to appoint the President of the Parliamentary Assembly as the President of Egypt at the first session after the conclusion of the parliamentary election process. His or her only constitutional task should then be to organise presidential elections within 60 days.”

Edward McMillan-Scott (EP Vice President for democracy and human rights) added: “This madness should stop now. It is impossible to hold proper elections while people are still being killed by security forces and female protesters are brutally treated. The SCAF has become a major obstacle to democracy in the country. The EU should increase the pressure on the SCAF to transfer power immediately after the parliamentary elections.

"In order to have proper free and fair presidential elections, all obstacles introduced under the former Mubarak regime should be lifted - including allowing Ayman Nour to run for president, if he would choose to do so. That would be a major signal forEgypttaking a fresh democratic start."

Marietje Schaake (D66, Netherlands) concluded: “According to human rights organisations, violations are even worse under the rule of the SCAF than under Mubarak. Thousands of civilian activists like Alaa Abdel-Fattah or Maikel Nabil are detained and sentenced only for criticizing the military Council. Women are also specifically targeted. We have lost our hopes for justice being reinstated by the SCAF. They even refuse to prosecute those soldiers who deliberately killed protesters. The SCAF must transfer power to a civilian president and the EU should ensure that those responsible for the ongoing human rights violations are held accountable."