Hold Presidential elections early: Rep leader to Mubarak

A top Republican leader has asked Egyptian Prez to schedule legitimate, democratic and internationally recognised elections" soon.

Updated: Feb 02, 2011, 10:40 AM IST

Washington: A top Republican leader has
asked Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to schedule legitimate,
democratic and internationally recognised elections" soon and
not eight months from now.

"Continuing with the existing timeline for elections
is not going to help stabilise the situation in Egypt. It will
only embolden the extremist elements and frustrate Egyptian
people, who seek peaceful, legitimate, democratic change,"
Congressperson Leana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the House
Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement.

"Far-off promises of change won’t cut it after decades
of waiting for political and economic reforms. The Egyptian
people are demanding a government that will take concrete
actions to meet their legitimate aspirations for democracy,
human rights, and freedom.

"I reiterate my call to Mubarak to schedule
legitimate, democratic, internationally-recognized elections
in the near future, not eight months from now," Ros-Lehtinen

She asked opposition leaders to categorically reject
the involvement of extremist elements, who are trying to
use this crisis to gain power and hijack Egypt`s future. The
Republican warned if this happens that it would "seriously
damage" Egypt?s relationship with US and Israel.

Senator Robert Menendez demanded the resignation of
Mubarak. "He should step aside and endorse the creation of an
interim government that does not include himself or his
family, but which does include all segments of society and,
most importantly, that ensures equality and opportunity for
all Egyptians to participate in national elections."

An orderly transition to democracy is in the interest
of Egyptian people and United States must stand ready to
assist in this process, he added.

In a televised speech to the nation, Mubarak said he
would not seek another term as President in elections slated
for September, but maintained he will complete his current

In his second address to the nation since Egyptian
unrest began the previous week, Mubarak said he would use the
remainder of his term to oversee the transition of power.

He also called on the parliament to amend the Egyptian
Constitution?s Article 76 (which narrows the pool of potential
presidential candidates) and Article 77 (which allows for
unlimited presidential terms).

US President Barack Obama later said the process for
orderly transition should begin immediately. He also spoke
with Mubarak for about 30 minutes.