Abdulhaleem Kandil: Mubarak´s rule draws to a close


Spokesman of Kifaya (Enough!) invited to Austria by Anti-imperialist Camp

On Oct 6 the leader of the Egyptian opposition movement Kifaya addressed a press conference and a public meeting in Vienna, Austria, commonly organised by the Anti-imperialist Camp and the Arab Palestine Club.

Kifaya came into being after Abdulhaleem Kandil, editor in chief of the Nasserist daily Al Arabi, was kidnapped, beaten and dropped naked in the desert by the Egyptian intelligence in 2004. Since then the movement is steadily growing from some hundred activists to tens of thousands of members. So far the mobilisations have resulted in about 3.800 new arrests adding to the 25.000 political oppositionist behind bars.

Kandil interpretes the last election farce as a scattering defeat for Mubarak. Already the official turn-out was little above 20%, so the real figure would be around 10% reached with the notorious methods of a dictatorship. Immediately after this re-enthronisation Kifaya organised a protest demonstration with about 15.000 participants.

According to the Egyptian opposition leader Mubarak will be forced to step down within the next two years. In order to gather the necessary forces Kifaya, itself a movements composed of nationalist, leftist and activist Islamic currents, struck an agreement with the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt´s most powerful popular organisation. The common platform is very simply: for democracy, against Israel. Kandil hints that even inside the army important areas oppose the succession of Mubarak by his son. He points at the record of the army which never intervened against the popular masses thus assuming that they would tolerate a mass movement toppling the president.

As to the immediate programme Kandil explained that the opposition front would form a transition government for two years with the tasks a) to remove the state of emergency by which Egypt has been ruled in the last 24 years and draft a new constitution removing the dictatorial powers of the president giving power to the parliament, b) to secure the right of free expression and organisation and c) to prepare for free elections under the supervision of the judiciary.

Asked whether he could exclude a Ukrainian scenario where the popular unrest only led to the installation of a new US puppet tied even more to his masters in Washington Kandil pointed at a decisive difference. The popular forces have a very strong consensus against the US and Israel and its local puppets, so any democratic change means to move onto an anti-imperialist direction. So the US has no alternative than the clique of thieves around Mubarak.

Kifaya refuses any Western financial help and calls the Western-driven NGOs "marines".

Several times Kandil re-iterated their support to the Iraqi and Palestinians resistance. "While they fight the same enemy with arms in hands, we will have to limit ourselves to political means." He made clear that US power over the Arab region can only be broken by toppling their servants in Egypt and building a popular, democratic and anti-imperialist government on the Nile.

The Anti-imperialist Camp offered the same support it has been given to the Palestinian and Iraqi resistance to Kifaya proposing a strategic alliance.