Issue: 2295 dated: 24 March 2012 International online only
Egyptians head to the polls on 23 May and 24 May for the country’s first presidential elections since the revolution toppled former dictator Hosni Mubarak last year.
The Revolutionary Socialists have been at the heart of the movement to deepen the revolution and remove the remnants of the Mubarak regime. Here is their latest statement on the elections and their attitude to them.
In the presidential elections we support the revolution and its goals
It is not possible to view the current presidential elections in isolation from the desperate attempts by the military council to abort the revolution.
These began with the referendum on the amendments to the constitution, followed by parliamentary elections which saw the majority of seats taken by political forces which will form a government that ignores the goals of the revolution—even though they it owe their victory.
The priority for these politicians is to cancel the divorce laws, implement punishments for banditry and ban strikes, rather than achieving bread, freedom and social justice.
These efforts to abort the revolution will culminate in the support of the parliamentary majority for a presidential candidate (whether by consensual or conspiratorial means) who will guarantee a safe exit for the military council whose hands are stained with the blood of the martyrs, excuse the corrupt criminals in Tora prison, reassure the Americans and the Zionists that their interests and their treaty are safe, and protect the class of businessmen and investors from the threat represented by workers and their continuing strikes.
The obstacles faced by prospective candidates (collecting 30,000 signatures from 15 governorates), the formation of a supervisory committee for the elections by the military council itself (which means it cannot be challenged under Article 28 of the constitution), the presence of powerful counter-revolutionary media machine and a governmental and administrative apparatus geared towards defence of the military, show that the Mubarak regime is seeking to renew itself and move from defence to attack.
Our belief is still that genuine change will not be made by any president but by the mass revolutionary movement, which has irreversibly broken the barrier of fear and which will take its rights by storm in the coming revolutionary wave, which we see developing in the dozens of strikes taking place today.
However our position is always to be “wherever the masses are”, and there is no doubt that the majority of people see these elections—whose outcome it is still impossible to predict—as a democratic experience which will see the election of the first ever civilian president and a chance to get rid of military rule, and we all remember the martyrs for freedom who have not been avenged even today.
Therefore it is our duty not to abandon the masses, nor to arrogantly set ourselves above them, but to engage in the battle to expose the candidates representing the alliance between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood, while pushing the masses towards completing their revolution by focusing on the demands of the revolution and the revolutionary forces such as:
A fair revolutionary trial for all those responsible for the killing and injury of revolutionaries from January 2011 until today
The recovery of the money which was stolen from the people and the renationalisation of the privatised companies and the confiscation of the assets of the corrupt elements
The redistribution of the country’s wealth for the benefit of the poor and the inclusion of the “special funds” (overseen by the military) in the general state budget
Reductions in prices and the nationalisation of the monopolies which are owned by the capitalist gang
The implementation of a minimum wage and pension of at least 1200 Egyptian pounds per month and a maximum wage of no more than 20 times the minimum
Granting workers on temporary contracts job security and guaranteeing their social rights
The cleansing and restructuring of the media and state institutions—starting with the Ministry of the Interior—to get rid of the supporters of the Mubarak regime
We are not announcing our support for a particular candidate yet, and we will work in coordination with all the revolutionary forces to agree a single “candidate for the revolution” in the face of the “conspiracy’s candidate”, building on the programme of the revolution rather than the personalisation of the electoral campaigns that we see at the moment.
The election will be one of our battles along the road to completing the revolution, and not the end of it.
We will join the fight against the military’s candidate, against their safe exit. We will expose their plan to abort the revolution, and we will raise the demands of the revolution and its goals in a battle, which is no less important than the battle for the constitution which must guarantee the rights of the poor and their freedom, and no less vital than the battles of the workers, civil servants and students for their rights, or any of the battles of the revolution which will not end on 30 June, but will increase in revolutionary intensity.
Glory to the martyrs, victory to the revolution, power to the people!
The Revolutionary Socialists
20 March 2012