A coalition of opposition groups have told Egypt's government that they would only begin talks with the military on a transition to democracy once President Hosni Mubarak stands down, opposition leaders said.
Massive protests over the past week have shaken Mubarak's 30-year grip on power, forcing him to appoint a deputy and new cabinet.
But protesters, emboldened by an army vow not to use force against them, say they will continue until Mubarak quits. "Our first demand is that Mubarak goes. Only after that can dialogue start with the military establishment on the details of a peaceful transition of power," said Mohammed al-Beltagi, a former member of parliament from the Muslim Brotherhood.
Beltagi said the opposition was operating under an umbrella group, the National Committee for Following up the People's Demands, which includes the Brotherhood, the National Association for Change headed by Mohamed ElBaradei, political parties and prominent figures including Coptic Christians.
Beltagi's comments were echoed by ElBaradei and another opposition official.
"There can be dialogue but it has to come after the demands of the people are met and the first of those is that President Mubarak leaves," he told Al Arabiya television, saying the dialogue would involve transitional power arrangements.
"I hope to see Egypt peaceful and that's going to require as a first step the departure of President Mubarak. If President Mubarak leaves, then everything will progress correctly."
"Offer for talks rejected"
Beltagi said the government had contacted opposition groups through Sayed Badawi, head of the liberal Wafd party, but he declined to say who had been touch.
He said the eventual talks would be with whomever represents the army and that person could be Omar Suleiman, whom Mubarak appointed as his vice president on Saturday.
Suleiman said on Monday he had been authorised by Mubarak to begin talks but did not give details.
Beltagi said the talks would involve discussions on a coalition government, a temporary president, dissolving parliament and free elections -- but the timetable and framework would only come in talks once Mubarak is out.
Mustafa Naggar of ElBaradei's group said the request for talks had come from Information Minister Anas Fiki and Mubarak's new prime minister Ahmed Shafiq. He also said the offer was rejected until Mubarak gives up power.
Naggar said the talks could lead to a "board of trustees" to be in power for three months to pave the way for elections that would lead to a two-year transitional government that would introduce constitutional reforms followed by new parliamentary elections.
"We demand that a board of trustees ... is formed for three months. In those three months, this group will work to form an emergency transitional government for two years," he said.
"During the three months the board will introduce amendments to articles 76, 77 and 88 of the constitution to allow independents to run (for president). Also during those three months a new parliamentary election will be held."
Those articles govern how many times the president can run for office, conditions for running for president and rules on oversight of parliamentary elections.
Naggar said the "board of trustees" could include ElBaradei, the former International Atomic Energy Agency chief, as well as former Nobel Prize for Chemistry winner Ahmed Zewail, Omar Suleiman and army chief-of-staff Sami Anan.
Last Mod: 01 Şubat 2011, 17:16