The first session of the Egyptian National Dialogue was held on July 5, celebrating the beginning of a new democratic era in Egypt.
In fact, democracy has become a universal goal to be achieved. And after ousting Mubarak’s regime, Egypt, since 2011, has been moving forward towards achieving that goal. On January 25, 2011, a wide-spread range of protests erupted all over Egypt, and several groups marched to Al-Tahrir Square in Cairo to protest against the deteriorating socio-economic conditions and the limited political pluralism.
After 18 days of protests, Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s previous president, stepped down and the first “democratic” elections were held in Egypt in 2012. These elections resulted in the winning of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohamed Morsi. Then, accused of espionage, Morsi was ousted from power in a counter-revolution on June 30, 2013; resulting in new elections that led to the successful rise of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the presidency.
Al-Sisi’s government has been trying to accommodate the needs of the Egyptian population since its first day in power. And what the government has noticed is the Egyptians’ need for a trustworthy democratic government that includes them in the decision-making process; a transparent government that works for what is best for the people and does not deceive them; especially since after 2011, Egyptians became more politically aware.
In addition to the series of socio-economic and political reforms that Al-Sisi’s government has been issuing and taking forward since 2013, in May 2022, Al-Sisi announced the conducting of a National Dialogue, which is organized under the umbrella of the National Training Academy. The National Dialogue unites different streams and groups in society; aiming to have fruitful discussions that result in logical solutions, legislation, and actions that meet Egyptians’ needs.
During the session, which was held on July 5, Diaa Rashwan, the General Coordinator of the dialogue, said that Dialogue, restoring the June 30 alliance, would help create a “modern democratic national state”. And for that to be achieved, the Board of Trustees, which is composed of 19 members, has agreed on excluding the Muslim Brotherhoods, along with any party that put a hand in or supported violence, from the Dialogue.
In affirming the diversity in the National Dialogue, the Board of Trustees members include the Head of Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS), Mohamed Fayez Farahat; Deputy Head of the ACPSS, Amr Hashem Rabie; the Editor-in-Chief of Al-Ahram Al-Arabi weekly magazine Gamal El-Keshki; the president of the National Council for Women (NCW), Maya Morsy; the Coordinator of the Arab States Civil Society Organisations and Feminists Network, Fatma Khafagy; and the human rights lawyer, Negad El-Borai. These are all part of the Dialogue; and are all responsible for coming out with conclusive results, despite having different ideologies.
And as proof of moving towards a real Egyptian democratic experience, the Board has concluded two charters, with a total of 44 clauses; where the first charter has 19 clauses for the Dialogue’s “Executive Regulations”, while the second has 25 clauses for the Dialogue’s Code of Conduct.
Egyptians are optimistic about this first democratic National Dialogue; hoping to get real solutions and new laws that would meet their demands and make their lives better; compensating for the injustice and inequalities they have been through during Mubarak’s and Morsi’s regimes.