Release of Ayman Nour
Sparks Hope of Political Reform
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images
Ayman Nour was released today around 6pm where he just walked into his home at Zamalek, Cairo, unexpectedly. A media frenzy broke out and in a few minutes, his home was packed with reporters from local and international news agencies.
His release came as a result from the Egyptian Attorney General, on medical grounds! Nour was first arrested on 29th January 2005, 90 days after El Ghad Party was given legal status in October 2004. Ayman Nour was released on 12th March 2005 and he ran against Mubarak un Egypt's first multi-candidate presidential election Egypt witnessed where he came first runner up after Mubarak.
Nour was then re-arrested on 5th December 2005 - merely 90 days (again) after his participation in Presidential Elections, sentenced to 5 years in Jail on 25th December 2005. Appeal was turned down in May 2006.
Upon his release on Wed 18th Feb 2009, Ayman Nour announced that he seeks no revenge, that he is more persistent than ever on pursuing the cause of reform and that he will focus his efforts to rebuild El Ghad party to advance the cause of reform, liberty and democracy in Egypt. Nour announced that he seeks no position in El Ghad Party other than the honorary position as Leader of the Party, and that he will be in charge of membership committee under the current president of the Party, Ehab El Kholy, elected by the General Assembly in march 2007. State Commissioners Court issued a ruling on 7th Feb 2009 acknowledging El Kholy as president. General Assembly held on 30 Dec 2005 had elected Nagui El Ghatrifi as president and Ayman Nour, who was in jail at the time, as leader of the Party. General Assembly of March 2007 then elected Kholy as president.
El Ghad announced in a press release that it shall strive to create a national dialogue with opposition leaders to reach some consensus on an Agenda of Reform such that the outcome of such dialogue must be some sort of a meaningful political process built on the priniciples of pluralism, real democracy and freedom.
We hope that this may be the start of a new era in Egypt's political scene, where a new social contract can be drafted through a package of comprehensive reform.