Political powers coordinate ahead of 25 January celebrations

A group of labor and political forces agreed Thursday to coordinate ahead of celebrations for the first anniversary of the uprising that forced President Hosni Mubarak from power on 11 February last year.

Several political powers and official bodies have already announced their intention to commemorate the start of the revolution. The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has declared 25 January a national holiday.

The decision came during a meeting of representatives from the Egyptian Farmers Union, Egyptian Communist Party, Tagammu Party, Egyptian Socialist Party, 25 January Revolution Youth Coalition, as well as additional political and labor forces. Some of these groups are still in the process of being officially certified.

The meeting resulted in the formation of a committee that will be tasked with organizing activities and preparing for the celebrations. These activities will include distributing fliers and organizing public rallies and Cairo and other governorates, especially in poor regions.

Essam Shaaban, a member of the newly formed committee and spokesperson for the Socialist Party, told MENA that his committee will coordinate its efforts with the National Association for Change and other political groups.

Shaaban mentioned that the committee will begin a series of talks with youth groups to unify their demands ahead of the 25 January celebrations.

Shahenda Meqled, one of the co-founders of the Farmers Union, met with Kamal Abbas, the general coordinator of the Center for Trade Union and Worker Services, Hany al-Husseiny, the leader of the Tagammu Party, and Hamada al-Kashif, a member of the 25 January Revolution Youth Coalition.

On Monday, 54 political parties and movements called for nationwide protests on 25 January to demand a swift transfer of power from military to civilian rule.

In a joint statement, the groups listed their demands: the handover of power to an elected civilian president by April, the release of all activists currently in detention, an end to military trials for civilians, and the imposition of a minimum and maximum wage.

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