Discord mars Egypt opposition meeting

The first meeting of the National Association for Change, an opposition coalition formed by possible presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei, was characterized by disagreement and clashes.

At the meeting on Sunday, Gamal Eid, the head of the Arab Network for Human Rights, criticized the association’s position on the doctor from Fayoum who accused police of torturing him because of his support for ElBaradei’s candidacy.

"The position was weak, which makes eligible members of the association think again before they decide to join," Eid said.

Eid also called on the association to support Ammar Ali Hassan, who accused the Wafd Party of making a deal with the ruling National Democratic Party to withdraw its support for ElBaradei in return for a certain number of seats in this year’s parliamentary election.

Hassan Nafaa, the association’s general coordinator, promised to handle these issues once ElBaradei returns from abroad.

Alaa el-Aswany, a prominent novelist and member of the association, criticized Nafaa for his passivity. "I don’t like the way you run the association," el-Aswany told Nafaa.

In response to el-Aswany’s comments Nafaa announced his resignation.
"I’m not playing hero here," he told el-Aswany. "You’re more than welcome to take my place."

However, MP Hamdin Sabbahy recommended deleting the last statements from the minutes of the meeting. "No one can lead this front better than Nafaa," he said.

Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed el-Beltagy walked out of the meeting when Nafaa rejected his request that the association join a vigil organized by his group against the draft law on political rights under discussion by parliament.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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