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Cablegate: "April 6" Plans Parallel Meeting to Refute Ndp

VZCZCXRO7289
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #2022 2951507
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 221507Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3979
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 002022

SIPDIS

FOR NEA/ELA AND DRL/NESCA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/22/2029
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM EG
SUBJECT: "APRIL 6" PLANS PARALLEL MEETING TO REFUTE NDP
CONFERENCE CLAIMS

REF: A. CAIRO 1975
B. CAIRO 1819 C. CAIRO 591 D. 08 CAIRO 2310 Classified By: Economic-Political Minister-Counselor Donald A. Blome for reason 1.4 (d).
1.(C) "April 6" leader Ahmed Saleh told us October 20 that his movement plans a public meeting at the end of October to coincide with the annual ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) conference. He said the meeting will refute claims he expects the NDP to make about Egypt's development and progress, and will reject Gamal Mubarak as a successor to his father. (Note: Per ref D, at the 2008 NDP conference President Mubarak spoke to thousands of assembled delegates, describing the GOE's policy priorities for the coming year under a banner stating, "We Promised, and We delivered." End note.)

2.(C) Saleh said the opposition Democratic Front Party (DFP) has offered to host the meeting. "April 6" plans for opposition political leaders to deliver speeches detailing the country's economic and political problems, and criticizing the NDP. He expects El-Ghad party leader Ayman Nour and Reform and Development Party leader Anwar El-Sadat to attend. "April 6" is debating whether to invite Muslim Brotherhood officials who favor political engagement, but decided not to invite opposition Wafd and Tagammu party leaders. Saleh noted that Interior Ministry State Security (SSIS) cancelled "April 6's" 2008 parallel meeting, which was booked in the GOE-controlled press syndicate. He was hopeful that the DFP would resist SSIS pressure this year.

3.(C) Saleh said "April 6" plans to resume its socio-economic projects in Cairo, such as helping residents lobby local councils to provide services such as trash collection. The movement plans to establish an NGO dedicated to monitoring the 2010 parliamentary elections. "April 6" intends to recruit university students as members, although Saleh said police briefly detained one of his activists in mid-October for distributing leaflets on a Cairo campus. Saleh asserted that Freedom House has decided to sever links with "April 6" leaders, apparently under SSIS pressure.

4.(C) Comment: "April 6" failed to unite opposition political leaders and movements behind its call for an April 6, 2009 strike to protest political and economic conditions (ref C). It appears that Saleh is trying to parlay his growing relationships with Nour and other opposition leaders into a higher-profile political role for "April 6," which previously concentrated on strikes and youth events. Scobey

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