Tamarod declares intent to run as political party in parliament elections
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By AMIRA EL-FEKKI

CAIRO: The Tamarod (rebellion) movement, which called for mass protests against former President Mohamed Morsi on June 30, 2013, is to begin a series of public conventions to promote itself as a political party and develop its platform in the run-up to parliamentary elections, senior party deputy Mohamed Ra’ey told Veto Gate Sunday.

Tamarod Secretary-General Mahmoud Badr will be in charge of organizing these gatherings, and the village of Nakhil in Menoufia government Sunday evening will be the location of its first public meeting.

The party is still under construction, as it only registered with the Committee for Political Parties’ Affairs earlier in November, and still must collect 5,000 signatures to officially run as a political party.

Tamarod issued a mission statement on Nov. 5 declaring it recognized June 30 as a revolution and continuance of the January 25 Revolution. Their slogan is “Rebel; the world bows for rebels.”

The party said it was Nasser-oriented ideologically, and appointed Abdul Aziz Mahmoud as its media spokesperson. Mahmoud is a former head of the Nasserist Party’s student group, and founder of the Nasserist Students’ Bureau at Cairo University, according to Veto Gate.

Many of Tamarod’s posts on Facebook and Twitter call for the release of prisoners of conscience. “Mobilize yourselves in different ways. Those who are quite popular should head to the attorney general’s office. Lawyers and journalists should organize sit-ins in their syndicates and political parties should make a move… free the detainees of conscience!” Tamarod tweeted on Oct. 29.

Even though then Minister of Defense and now President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi became the face of the ouster of Morsi, Tamarod faced some internal conflicts, as not all its members agreed to vote for Sisi during presidential elections held in May; some supported rival candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi.

Once the “heroic” role of the movement during the events of June 30 started to fade away, the group found itself caught in political debates in which its members exchanged accusations on TV over corruption allegations.

In an infamous episode on Sada el-Balad TV on Oct. 25, 2013, members Doaa Khalife, Islam Hamam, Khaled el-Kady and former spokesperson Mohamed Nabawy held a heated debate, and accused each other of receiving “suspicious” foreign funds in the name of the campaign. Nabawy was later disavowed by Tamarod, who accused him of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some supporters also said the decision to turn Tamarod into an official political force was undertaken without the consent of all members, which led some to leave the movement.

But today, official Tamarod social media posts are generally critical of the government’s performance, and advocate human rights, which could signal the movement’s debut as an opposition party if its signature drive and campaigning are successful.

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