Wide Rejection of the Constitutional Draft in Egypt


19 October 2012
Hamdi Hassan
Hamdi Hassan
By Hamdi Hassan, Senior Advisor, West Africa and North Africa, International IDEA, CairoThe Constitutional Assembly had a landmark opportunity to lay the groundwork for representing human rights in tomorrow’s Egypt, but its current draft fails to meet that standard because of vague language or limit...
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Comments

Tayuh Ngenge 19 October 2012
<p>Reading this article&nbsp; and without having read the draft charter, I am struck by how much the second paragraph echoes my sentiments&nbsp; on reading&nbsp; cross sections of the draft of the Tunisian constitution that was also recently released to the public. Beyond highlighting the risks associated with rushing the drafting process through, what the quality of the draft&nbsp; constitutions released in both Tunisia and Egypt, so far, also demonstrater is that there is, apparently a serious gap&nbsp; in relation to skills in constitutional drafting. There is a serious need to fill this gap in order to get things right.</p>
Zaid Al-Ali 19 October 2012
<p>Hamdi, thanks for this post! Is there any sense of how the current draft would do in a referendum? The draft is being widely criticized by liberals, etc. but how would their discontent be reflected if it were to be put to a vote?&nbsp; My guess is that there is no way to know for now, but I was wondering if u could share your thoughts.&nbsp;</p>
Hamdi Hassan 19 October 2012
<p>In response to your questions Zaid-</p><p>One thing is by now very clear: the coming referendum on the constitution will not be a free ride as the one Egypt had on March 9, 2011. The Islamists succeeded to propagate and win a comfortable 77% in favour of the constitutional changes.</p><p>It is known that the Islamists and, especially, the Muslim Brotherhood, have a very powerful and effective “election machine”. But this will not help to vote in the new constitution, the Muslim Brotherhood has too many enemies for the time being. <b>Those non-Islamist forces who stood behind President Morsy in the second round of the presidential election, they oppose him now and will demonstrate today in Tahrir Square against the Constitutional Assembly and the draft of the new constitution that appeared more than a week ago. </b></p><p>As I mentioned in the text, the Liberal and leftist forces are unable so far to create unified political platforms even temporary election alliances to balance the power and the organizational skill of the Muslim Brotherhood. <b>The Liberal and leftist forces in Egypt are fragmented and divided with no real grass-roots connection. They live in a political state of affairs similar to that of the pre-Berlusconi Italian politics and, at best, they need few years to develop the skills of political organization.</b></p><p>However, the weakness of the Liberal and Leftists is not a condition for the Islamists to do in the new constitution.&nbsp; <b>As we witness the pattern of voting in the presidential election, there is a real possibility that the draft would not be voted in the coming referendum.</b> As you know, the Islamists got only about 25% in the first round of the presidential election. There is still the possibility that the High Administrative Court issue a rule very soon to dissolve the Constructional Assembly. This can be soon, given “the ongoing and undeclared war” between the Legal system and the ruling Islamists.</p>

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