'Egyptian democracy an inclusive process'

Deputy PM says transition to democracy should be inclusive and involve all of society.

Egypt's Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa-Eldin. Picture: Sheldon Morais/EWN.

CAIRO - Egypt's Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa-Eldin says it's important the country's transition to democracy is an inclusive process that involves as many sections of society as possible.

The North African powerhouse is being led by a transitional government after Mohamed Morsi was ousted as president in July this year.

Morsi was removed by the military after mass protests.

It's alleged more than 1,000 people have been killed in violence between the military and Morsi supporters.

Bahaa-Eldin says it's unfortunate that Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, through its Freedom and Justice Party, remains adamant it won't be involved in the ambitious plan to steer Egypt towards democracy.

But he and several ministers say the Brotherhood's self-exclusion from the process won't compromise its legitimacy once completed next year.

The country sits on the cusp of change, with a draft constitution set to be finalised in coming weeks.

It will then form the basis of a public discussion before a referendum is expected to be held.

However, it seems Morsi supporters won't back down until the former president is released from custody and the criminal charges he faces are dropped.


Bahaa-Eldin says it's vital the country's youth are convinced a push toward democracy will not have a predetermined outcome.

The deputy Prime Minister knows his country's young people wield significant power, noting they have sparked two revolutions in less than three years.

With Egypt seeking to implement a democratic system, Bahaa-Eldin wants the youth at the forefront of the country's transition during this fragile time.

He says the interim government wants to send a message of hope to young people by creating employment and allowing them more freedom to determine their futures.

Capturing the hearts and minds of the youth is seen as a critical element at a time when the military and the state face protests and attacks from angry Muslim Brotherhood supporters.