AFRICA/EGYPT - Seats "reserved" for the Copts in the next election?

Monday, 14 January 2013

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) – In the next parliamentary elections a Party of Coptic inspiration could be part of the list, with the declared function to represent the demands of the sectors of society - women, urban youth groups, indigenous Christian communities - which, although supporting the January 25 revolution, now feel marginalized by the new political leadership in Egypt. The civil rights activist Naguib Gabriel, leader of the Egyptian organization for human rights (EUHRO) envisaged the possible emergence of a new political entity a few days ago. The new party would start from a base of 15 thousand militants, and could take the name of "Egypt Beiteinu" (Egypt Our House), which reproduces the formula of Yisrael Beiteinu, the secular nationalist party created in Israel by Avigdor Liebermann to provide a platform of political representatives to Russian immigrants.
The characteristic identification of the new political formation – clarified Naguib Gabriel - would be the uncompromising assertion of the principle of citizenship, social justice and the protection of human dignity. In any case, according to the activist, the Copts should see their presence increased in the lists of secular parties or Islamic moderates. In the new Parliament - says Gabriel – a part of the seats will be reserved for Copts, to ensure their adequate representation in the country, now led by a government of Islamic imprint, which has a new constitution strongly guided by the principles of Sharia .
Contacted by Fides Agency, Bishop Adel Zaki, OFM, Apostolic Vicar of Alexandria, noted that "the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Coptic Catholic Church also refuse that there is a party in Egypt labeled as the Party of Christians. All prefer that Christians take part in groups and plural political parties and collaborate with others. In addition - adds the Bishop – liberal sectors are aiming to appear in a single list, where they should focus all their strength. For this single plan, each division would be counterproductive." (GV) (Agenzia Fides 14/01/2013)