Political parties, MPs and activists launch national accord initiative

A group of political parties, newly elected MPs and youth activists launched on Tuesday an initiative to create national accord on the main issues that will be discussed in Egypt's new parliament.

The intiative, called the Egyptian Declaration for National Responsibility, aims to energize people's relationships with parliament and other state institutions to gain public support, the group's statement said.

Its supporters hope to use the initiative to create an independent civil institution for public oversight of state bodies.

Proponents of the declaration include the Salafi-oriented Nour Party, the Egyptian Bloc, Wasat Party, Construction and Development Party, Reform and Development Party, Adl Party, the Revolution Continues Coalition and the Revolution Youth Coalition. It also includes newly elected MPs Amr al-Shobaky and Mahmoud al-Khodeiry.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and the liberal Wafd Party did not join the initiative.

The declaration says the newly elected parliament should aim to justly resolve ongoing court cases of corruption and killing protesters, to assign parliamentary and popular figures to ensure that power is handed over to a civilian government, and to draft a constitution that stipulates checks and balances and protection for human rights while preserving Islamic rules as the main reference for legislation.

The statement said the group hopes to create an institution that would put government priorities into order in a way that ensures social justice, security performance, oversight, reinforcement of the rule of law, provision of healthcare, improvement in education and resistance to discrimination.

It would also guarantee transparency in the new parliament by seeking to amend parliamentary regulations to limit the speakers' powers.

FJP and the Salafi-oriented Nour Party secured the largest number of parliamentary seats during the elections for Egypt's lower house of parliament, the People's Assembly. Its sessions are scheduled to officially begin on 23 January.

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