The following is a statement issued by Egypt’s Revolutionary Socialist Movement regarding pro-regime candidate Ahmed Shafiq’s strong showing in the first round of voting held in Egypt’s presidential elections:
The Revolutionary Socialists Movement confirms its opposition on principle to the candidate of the Military Council, the dissolved National Democratic Party and the forces of the counter-revolution, Ahmad Shafiq.
Shafiq has managed to reach the second round of the presidential elections to face the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, Dr Mohammed Morsi.
This is thanks to a massive mobilisation by the counter-revolutionary camp, which deployed the full, organised force of the resources at its command – the repressive apparatus of the state, the media and the business interests standing behind Shafiq.
His success reflects the smear campaigns, systematic repression and intimidation of the social and popular forces which peaked before the election and were expressed in the dregs of the old regime daring to run in the election.
This combined with the inability of the reformist and revolutionary forces to unite in a political front to prevent their candidacy. Finally it also reflects the failure of the candidates affiliated with the revolution to unite behind a single candidate clearly expressing the programme of the revolution as we recently warned.
On the other hand, the Revolutionary Socialists Movement welcomes the accomplishment of the millions of voters from the poor, the workers, the peasants, employees, the Copts, the unemployed and the youth of the revolution who backed Hamdeen Sabbahi.
He competed strongly for second place with Shafiq, scoring 21.2 percent of the total votes cast and coming third by a narrow margin. This reflects the great weight of support among the popular forces, the forces supporting the project of the revolution and those aligned with the Left for a programme which addresses both social issues and the question of civil democracy – thus allowing for the construction of a front of the militant left which has a wide popularity in the Egyptian street.
We stress our full support for all moves aimed at the verification of instances of fraud which were carried out against Sabbahi and for efforts to apply the law of political exclusion to the criminal Ahmad Shafiq.
We are deeply convinced of the role of the masses as the most effective and influential force and guarantor in all the battles of democracy, which they won the right to participate in through their great revolutionary struggle.
They offered martyrs and injured from the beginning of the revolution until today. We are also convinced that the victory of Shafiq in the second round of the elections will be a great loss to the revolution and a powerful blow against its democratic and social gains.
It would give a golden opportunity to the preparations of the counter-revolution for a more brutal and extensive revenge attack under the slogan of “restore security to the street within days”.
We therefore call on all the reformist and revolutionary forces and the remainder of the revolutionary candidates to form a national front which stands against the candidate of counter-revolution, and demands that the Muslim Brotherhood declares its commitment to the following:
1. Formation of a presidential coalition which includes Hamdeen Sabbahi and Abd-al-Moneim Abu-al-Fotouh as Vice-Presidents.
2. The selection of a Prime Minister from outside the ranks of the Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party and the formation of a government across the whole political spectrum in which the Copts are represented.
3. The approval of a law on trade union freedoms which clearly supports the pluralism and independence of the workers’ movement in contrast to the draft law proposed by the Brotherhood to the People’s Assembly.
4. The Brotherhood’s agreement with other political forces on a civil constitution which guarantees social justice, the right to free, quality healthcare and education, the right to strike, demonstrate and organise peaceful sit-ins, the public and private rights of all citizens, and the genuine representation of women, the Copts, working people and the youth in the Constituent Assembly. We cannot fail here to call on the Muslim Brotherhood and all the political forces to put the interests of the revolution before party-political interest and to unite against Shafiq so that we do not deliver our revolution to its enemies as easy prey.
Our position does not, of course, mean that we are dropping our criticism of the social and economic programme of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and its “Renaissance Project” which is essentially biased towards the market economy and finance and business.
Nor do we weaken our criticism of the political performance of the leadership of the Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party and of the trust of these leaders in the Military Council and their attacks on the revolutionaries during the battles of Mohammed Mahmoud Street and the Cabinet Offices and others.
These attacks included accusing the Revolutionary Socialists and other revolutionary forces of treason and the presentation of a legal complaint against us to the Attorney General.
However, what concerns us in the first place is the interest of the revolution, and its future. We have to defend the right of the masses to make choices and test those choices as a condition of the development of their consciousness and the development of their position in relation to different political forces.
We are also aware of the magnitude of the error in failing to discriminate between the reformists. The Muslim Brotherhood are supported by and will be supported by millions in the elections who aspire to the redistribution of the revolution and genuine democracy, and depend on the grassroots of the unions and professional associations and other social and democratic organisations.Their audience lies among poor peasants, workers and the unemployed.
Then there is the fascism of the military’s man, Shafiq ,and the thugs of his campaign who are united in their desire to end the revolution and close the door on any democratic or economic struggle.
We pledge today to join in the widest possible struggle among the masses of our people against the candidate of the old regime. The election of Shafiq would cross a red line, as if Mubarak returned or he was found not guilty of his crimes. It would be exactly like rejecting the sacrifice of the martyrs and accepting the defeat of the revolution.
The conditions for the struggle, the battle for a decent life and the continuation of the political and social revolution will become extremely difficult with Shafiq installed in the presidential palace.
Turn the second round of the presidential elections into a blow against the old regime!
Fight to organise the popular forces against the slaveowners’ revolt!