Reform Demonstrations in Egypt 1968

[ 1968 ]

Nasser's reform of the existing political system was instituted through the formulation of new laws and the election of new members to all of the organs of the ASU. This initial phase of his plan was completed during October 1968, with the election of the reorganized Supreme Executive Committee (SEC) of the ASU. Only eight people received the required majority of votes, and the election of the remaining two members was postponed. The SEC organized itself into five permanent committees: political affairs, chaired by Anwar as Sadat; administration, chaired by Ali Sabri; internal affairs, chaired by Abdul Muhsin Abu an Nur; economic development, chaired by Muhammad Labib Shuqayr; and culture and information, chaired by Diya Muhammad Daud. Nasser headed the SEC, and its three remaining members were Husayn ash Shafii, General Muhammad Fawzi, and Kamal Ramzi Stinu.

This reorganization proved unsatisfactory to those who had hoped for an expansion of freedom and democracy. Thus, in November, demonstrations broke out again with cries of "Nasser resign" reported. Several demonstrators were killed or wounded in clashes with the police. Universities and secondary schools were again closed. The demonstrators were expressing popular frustration over the failure of the government to implement the program approved by the referendum. Nasser apparently was unwilling or unable to widen popular participation in the government.

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