Cablegate: "April 6" Holds Parallel Ndp Conference Despite
DE RUEHEG #2155 3211216
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 171216Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4262
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 002155
FOR NEA/ELA AND DRL/NESCA
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2029
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM EG
SUBJECT: "APRIL 6" HOLDS PARALLEL NDP CONFERENCE DESPITE
ALLEGED GOE INTERFERENCE
REF: A. CAIRO 2022 B. CAIRO 1975 C. CAIRO 1819 D. CAIRO 591 E. 08 CAIRO 697 Classified By: Economic-Political Minister-Counselor Donald A. Blome for reason 1.4 (d).
1.(C) "April 6" leader XXXXXXXXXXXX told us November 8 that his movement managed to hold an October 30-November 1 three-day parallel conference to the ruling National Democratic Party's annual gathering. XXXXXXXXXXXX said that "April 6" held the first two days of its conference on-line, featuring web interviews with opposition figures such as El-Ghad party leader Ayman Nour and Muslim Brotherhood (MB) Supreme Guide Magdy Akef. XXXXXXXXXXXX asserted that Interior Ministry State Security (SSIS) cyber attacks on the "April 6" website reduced its capacity by about 90 percent. XXXXXXXXXXXX noted that Anwar Esmat Sadat hosted a conference event for youth participants at the Reform and Development Party headquarters.
2.(C) XXXXXXXXXXXX told us that the third day of the conference at the opposition Democratic Front Party (DFP) headquarters featured live speakers such as Nour, Kefaya Leader George Ishaq, MB officials, and civil society activists. XXXXXXXXXXXX said the live speakers and the web interview guests criticized GOE policy and the country's socio-economic "deterioration." XXXXXXXXXXXX estimated that about 400 supporters attended the event. He noted that a few plain-clothes SSIS officers watched from outside, but did not enter. XXXXXXXXXXXX who attended the conference, told us she was disappointed the speakers did not offer any constructive policy suggestions.
3.(C) XXXXXXXXXXXX said that he is coordinating a new "Youth Against Succession" Coalition, which he launched November 4 to work against the possible elevation of Gamal Mubarak to the presidency without a free and fair election. He stressed that the coalition would not oppose Gamal becoming president through legitimate elections. XXXXXXXXXXXX assembled the coalition with youth from the opposition Ghad and DFP parties, the MB and the "Sawti Matlubi" ("My Vote is My Demand") movement. He wants to expand the membership to include other opposition parties, and to generate Egyptian public support for international monitors for the 2011 presidential elections.
4.(C) Comment: Harassed by the GOE and weakened by internal divisions, "April 6" has been unable to stage successful events following the April 6, 2008 general strike that visibly quieted Cairo (ref E). Its planned April 6, 2009 strike fizzled (ref D), and over the past 18 months the GOE has prevented the group from holding demonstrations, and events as innocuous as a patriotic sing-along in Alexandria and a "day of love" in Cairo. In this context, the parallel conference seems to have been a step forward for "April 6." However, XXXXXXXXXXXX appeared dejected over continued SSIS interference with "April 6," and was pessimistic about the movement's prospects to raise money and recruit new members for future activities, such as those related to the upcoming elections. End comment. Scobey