On Friday 1 June representatives from across the political spectrum signed a document they called the Pledge. It lays out a set of promises -- see below -- that seek to promote the goals of last year's revolution and guarantee the development of a democratic system of government.
The Egyptian Democratic Party, the Popular Alliance Party, the Free Egyptians Party, the Karama (Dignity) Party, the Ghad Al-Thawra (Tomorrow of the Revolution) Party, the Justice Party, the Tagammu (National Progressive Unionist) Party, the Democratic Front, the Egyptian Socialist Party, the Free Egypt Party, the Egyptian Communist Party, the Nasserist Arab Party, the National Association for Change and the 6 April Youth Movement are among the signatories.
1. Egypt is a democratic civil state based on the sovereignty of the constitution and the law. Its political frame-of-reference is derived from the constitution and the law.
2. Article 2 of the 1971 constitution and the Constitutional Declaration, which states that Islam is the religion of the state and that the principles of Islamic Sharia are the chief source of legislation, shall remain. Simultaneously, the interpretations of the Supreme Constitutional Court as expressed in its successive rulings, shall be upheld.
3. We shall uphold the principles of citizenship and equality before the law, and support the criminalisation of discrimination, fuelling religious bigotry, and inciting hatred among people on the basis of religion, belief, colour, gender, or social status. We further affirm full equality between men and women in all rights and duties.
4. The separation of powers and the autonomy of the judiciary shall be affirmed and upheld through a new law that guarantees these principles. Every citizen shall have the right to a fair trial before his or her natural judge, and all forms of extraordinary trials shall be banned.
5. We shall uphold and protect public freedoms, foremost among which are the freedoms of opinion, thought, expression and political activity; the freedoms of scientific research and intellectual, artistic, and literary creativity; and personal freedoms.
6. All citizens must be equal in access to opportunity and in rights and duties.
7. We pledge to protect major institutions of state from penetration and infiltration by political trends, or from attempts to divert them to the service of a specific faction or trend, while safeguarding the professionalism and neutrality of these institutions and ensuring that they remain at the service of all citizens without exception. Foremost among these institutions are the judiciary, the army, the police, the venerable Al-Azhar, and educational institutions.
8. We shall uphold the principles of human rights that are laid out in international human rights principles and charters, and we shall abide by the provisions of the international agreements, charters and protocols signed by Egypt.
9. The forthcoming president shall be committed to opposing with the utmost firmness and resolve any obstruction to the peaceful rotation of authority or any political or legislative arrangements that are so intended.
10. The forthcoming president shall be committed to opposing any extraordinary legislation that leads to the violation of public and personal freedoms and human rights. He shall further commit to the abolishment of the state of emergency, to work to cleanse the legislative structure of laws that restrict freedoms, and to promote the promulgation of a unified electoral law that will ensure a fair representation of all sectors of society.
11. The forthcoming president shall be committed to forming a national coalition government headed by a national figure who is approved by a general consensus. The presidential candidates must announce the name of that figure before the run-off elections.
12. Appointments of the ministers of defence, interior, foreign affairs, and justice must be drawn from within these institutions and solely in accordance with the criteria of competence and impartiality.
13. The forthcoming president shall abide by the principles of neutrality and fairness in his dealings with all political orientations and forces, and he shall strive to ensure an equitable representation of all political forces in the key positions in the institutions of the state (the presidential administration, cabinet posts, governorships and all other agencies of the state bureaucracy).
14. The forthcoming president shall respect constitutional provisions prohibiting any political organisations or parties that are formed on a religious or sectarian basis.
15. The forthcoming president shall take the measures necessary to bring individuals currently wrongfully standing trial before military courts to a retrial before normal courts.
16. The forthcoming president pledges not to pursue political opponents or activist using police or security instruments, and not to defame them in the media. He shall also release all prisoners of opinion.
17. The forthcoming president shall commit himself to adopting policies that aim to realise social justice and a balanced income structure, and to meet the basic needs of the people in education, healthcare, nourishment, housing and other such fields in an appropriate and equitable manner.
18. The forthcoming president shall remain committed to empowering weak and marginalised groups, such as street children and persons with special needs, so as to enable them to obtain the rights of which they have been deprived.
19. The forthcoming president is pledged not to intervene in the rulings of the judiciary and to refrain from issuing pardons to persons involved in crimes against the people and the revolution. He shall further strive to prosecute those guilty of political and financial corruption within the framework of international standards for transitional justice.
20. It is essential that Egyptian political forces and government institutions complete the selection of the Constitutional Assembly by 9 June and that all political forces, including the parliamentary majority, demonstrate their dedication to the public welfare and their restraint from partisan machinations by creating an assembly in accordance with criteria and regulations that will guarantee that no political trend will have a numerical majority in the membership of the assembly, so as to ensure an equitable relationship of all components of Egyptian society, especially women, Copts, and youth. In addition, the decisions of the Constitutional Assembly shall be taken by two-thirds majority on matters that need to be brought to a vote.
21. It is important to preserve the civil nature of the democratic state and, hence, to keep the Armed Forces outside of politics. It is also important to respect the role of the Armed Forces and its sacred function to protect the national security of Egypt.
22. Lastly, the signatories of this document declare that the right of Egyptians to revolt against and resist injustice through all available means is an intrinsic right, which they exercised, in a manner that amazed the world, through the 25 January Revolution. This right is inalienable and Egyptians shall exercise it in the event that those in power perpetuate gross violations of the constitution and law, commit abuses of human rights and basic liberties, or conspire against the principle of peaceful rotation of authority.