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Dear Ayman Nour,
How are you? I hope you are well with all the tumultuous events that have taken place in your country over the last few days.
More importantly I rejoice with your people the freedom they have claimed for themselves by the toppling of Mr Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian people today stand tall and proud for they have changed not just your country but the world as well.
I remember when we met in Cairo when you hosted us to a party at your home in 2009, you had said that free and fair elections in Egypt won’t come about until the government is forced to hold one, and that in order to force free and fair elections Egyptians needed to defy the repressive laws through civil disobedience or nonviolent action.
How true your words have become.
Despotic regimes never voluntarily give up their stranglehold on power by holding free and fair elections. I have quickly learned that democracy cannot come about through elections that are controlled by undemocratic governments.
Hosni Mubarak held elections during his entire reign and always claimed a overwhelming majority of the votes. We know that that has been a lie. It takes for the people to hold peaceful assemblies in order to force such governments to hold free elections which is exactly what Egyptians did.
The Singapore Democratic Party is also working for free and fair elections and one day I believe that we in Singapore will also bring about democratic change.
We must press on and believe that despotic regimes cannot last forever, and they fall when courageous people step forward to demand change. Your people have demonstrated this exceptional courage to the rest of the world and we salute you.
Ms Go met Mr Ayman Nour when she attended the Liberal International Congress held in Cairo, Egypt in November 2009. Mr Ayman is the leading opposition politician when Mr Hosni Mubarak was president. A lawyer, Nour is an emblematic figure in Egypt and was in thick of the protests in Tahrir Square.
At the head of the liberal El-Ghad (‘Tomorrow’) party, which he founded in 2004, he was Mubarak’s main opponent in the 2005 presidential elections. He only won eight percent of the vote with the former president claiming the huge majority of the vote. Nour contested the results, and continued to work for electoral reform.