Dec. 2008 Wikileaked Cable: Egyptian Activist Claims Plan for Opposition Parties to Transition to Parliamentary Democracy in 2011

By Kristina

Jan 31, 2011 5:16pm

In this December 2010 Wikileaked cable from the US Embassy in Cairo to the US State Department, an unnamed activist who was part of the April 6, 2008 Egyptian Youth Movement says that the government of Egypt “will never undertake significant reform, and therefore, Egyptians need to replace the current regime with a parliamentary democracy.  He alleged that several opposition parties and movements have accepted an unwritten plan for democratic transition by 2011; we are doubtful of this claim.”

The activist said that “several opposition forces — including the Wafd, Nasserite, Karama and Tagammu parties, and the Muslim Brotherhood, Kifaya, and Revolutionary Socialist movements — have agreed to support an unwritten plan for a transition to a parliamentary democracy, involving a weakened presidency and an empowered prime minister and parliament, before the scheduled 2011 presidential elections.” He said that the “opposition is interested in receiving support from the army and the police for a transitional government prior to the 2011 elections” and that “this plan is so sensitive it cannot be written down.”

The activist said he tried to convince those US officials with whom he met in December– Reps. Edward Ed Royce, R-Calif., Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, and Rep. Wolf, R-Virginia, two Senate staffers, and several think tank members that the US government should pressure the government of Egypt (GOE) “to implement significant reforms by threatening to reveal information about GOE officials' alleged ‘illegal’ off-shore bank accounts.”

He “asserted that Mubarak derives his legitimacy from U.S. support, and therefore charged the U.S. with ‘being responsible’ for Mubarak's ‘crimes.’  He accused NGOs working on political and economic reform of living in a ‘fantasy world,’ and not recognizing that Mubarak – ‘the head of the snake’ — must step aside to enable democracy to take root.”

At the December 3-5, 2008 "Alliance of Youth Movements Summit" in New York, the activist outlined “his movement's goals for democratic change in Egypt.” Upon returning to Cairo Airport on December 18, the Egyptian government’s State Security Investigations Sector “found and confiscated two  documents in his luggage:  notes for his presentation at the  summit that described April 6's demands for democratic transition in Egypt, and a schedule of his Capitol Hill meetings.” 

-Jake Tapper

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