Election to the post of general coordinator in the 6 April Youth Movement elections have been celebrated by many as a positive move on the path of democratizing political groups in Egypt.
Amro Ali won the poll with 55 percent of the vote, against Fady al-Masry. Ali is the first elected general coordinator in the movement and the second since its founding after Ahmad Maher who held the post since 2008.
“The April 6 Youth Movement held elections on the post of general coordinator out of belief in the principle of the rotation of power and for it to be a role model for other movements and political groups,” Mohamed Kamal, a spokesperson for the group, told the privately-owned daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Maher welcomed the electoral process and announced that he will keep his relationship with the group as an observer, while he said that the elections had been delayed due to the ongoing security crackdown on the group.
Elections are the normal evolution of the institutionalization of the group, he told Mada Masr. “It is a useful development for the group,” he said, adding that now they may think of taking part in the parliamentary elections.
Maher has called on members who left the group to return, adding that the divisions that occurred recently are normal and reflect some divergence of opinions. “For example, there are the April 6 members who split off to join the Ahrar movement which had an appearance on the stage of the Rabea al-Adaweya Muslim Brotherhood sit-in.”
Another main division was the Democratic Front, which Maher described more as an attempt by security to weaken the group as opposed to an actual division. “They were security infiltrators —it was obvious from how they attacked us and accused us of exactly the same things as security accuses us of,” he said.
Unlike several political groups, the April 6 Youth Movement chose not to side with either of the two poles of the prevalent conflict in Egypt between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military following the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in July.
The group has been accused of having connections with the ousted Muslim Brotherhood, especially after some of its members joined the Ahrar movement, which is sympathetic to the Brotherhood. But Ali denied any coordination with the Brotherhood, despite the latter’s claims that they have been working together.
The group, which has evolved to several thousand members today across several governorates started as a protest movement during the rule of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.