Vote4Africa: Egypt Must Be Free

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There is no middle ground in the evolving struggle for democracy. The United States must not only stand with the people of Egypt and seek a quick and graceful exit for Mubarak. It must also publicly support the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people.

Vote4Africa stands with the courageous and heroic people of Egypt.


Egyptians have just and legitimate grievances. Like free people all over the world, they have the right to freely choose who governs them. They have the right to democratic governance.

For the past 30 years, Hosni Mubarak and his coterie of enablers have hijacked Egypt and ruled the country as their personal fiefdom. Basic freedoms have been denied to the people of this proud nation. For far too long, Egyptians have been ruled like serfs in their own land.

The people’s revolution that began benignly in Tunisia has finally reached the capital of the Arab world, the twin ancient cities of Cairo and Alexandria.

We call upon the international community to stand with the people of Egypt. The United States — above all — has a special responsibility to the people of Egypt; a responsibility born of the special relationship that has subsisted between these two great countries.

POST-MUBARAK EGYPT

President Barack Obama should take advantage of the situation in Egypt to urge Mubarak to relinquish power as quickly and as orderly as possible.

The post-Mubarak Egypt must go through a short transition period marked by a genuine constitutional convention aimed at formulating a new democratic compact to govern the people of Egypt. This should be followed, as quickly as feasible, with free and fair democratic elections.

There is no middle ground in the evolving struggle for democracy. The United States must not only stand with the people of Egypt and seek a quick and graceful exit for Mubarak. It must also publicly support the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people.

From Ivory Coast to Tunisia to Egypt, a democratic revolution is slowly sweeping across Africa. The international community should welcome and reinforce this historic development. A new generation of African leaders, tempered by a protracted struggle against tyranny, is coming into its own.

In a free and open society, in a genuine democratic culture, there is no alternative to free and fair elections. That is the ultimate yardstick by which freedom must be measured.

As we stand today with the people of Egypt, as we did with the people of Southern Sudan just a week ago, we must not forget the ongoing struggle for dignity and democracy across Africa.

In just three weeks, the people of Uganda will go to the polls to determine their destiny. Unfortunately, the electoral process will not be free or fair. Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni – like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak – has ruled the country for nearly three decades without the approval of the people.

Join us. Spread the word. Together let’s ensure free and fair elections in every country in Africa.

This article first appeared on Vote4Africa.org, and is reprinted here with permission.
Vote4Africa is a not-for-profit organization that mobilizes
international grassroots support to ensure the effective implementation
of free and fair elections throughout Africa. For more
information, visit Vote4Africa.org, follow
@Vote4Africa or join the discussion on Facebook.

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