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Morsi and his plans for Egypt

Added on December 4, 2012
Egypt's senior judges have decided to monitor the election, overriding the possible referendum boycott announced by some judges.

Added on December 3, 2012
The project for a new constitution has been adopted early on November 30, 2012. 85 of the 100 members of the Constitutional Assembly voted for it. 11 lawmakers who had left the assembly where replaced by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists. Anyway, the religious party members would have had a majority to pass the constitutional draft. The Egyptian voters will decide on its adoption on December 15, 2012.

Some judges have already announced that they will not exercise their duty on December 15. They refuse to monitor the election. Can the constitutional referendum be held? Will it be validated or contested by the constitutional court or other judges? Will the losers of the referendum respect the outcome? Will free and fair parliamentary elections take place again early in 2013?

Egypt needs stability, the rule of law and the respect of the will of the majority. Egypt needs a democracy which does not turn into the tyranny of the majority; the majority has to respect all minorities and their rights.

Article added on November 29, 2012 at 20:13 Egyptian time
Last week, the Egyptian President Morsi (aka Morsy) successfully brokered a cease-fire between Israel and Hamastan” aka the Gaza Strip; incidentally, Hamas aka the Islamic Resistance Movement was originally an off-shot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

President Morsi also seemed to have come to an agreement with Egypt's military leaders. Their partial funding through United States military aid of yearly $1.3 billion seemed assured. The IMF also seemed ready to give Egypt a desperately needed $4.8 billion loan.

With those accomplishments in consolidating his power in the back and his new standing as the regional leader thanks to the brokered cease-fire, President Morsi seemed to have suffered a sudden attack of Caesar's madness. He issued a Constitutional Declaration consisting of seven articles (check below), which conveyed to him “Pharaonic” powers, as some critics said and wrote. In addition, Morsi fired Egypt's top prosecutor.

With his presidential decrees, President Morsi put himself above the judiciary. Critics pointed out that Morsi had abolished the separation of power. Morsi and his aids quickly said that the decrees would only remain in power until a new constitution was adopted and a new parliament was elected. Morsi gave the Constitutional Assembly additional three months until February 2013 to adopt a new Constitution.

After some 200,000 opponents gathered in Tharir Square on November 27, 2012 and asked President Morsi to backtrack and/or to step down, Morsi chose to accelerate things. On the evening of November 27, 2012 Morsi's adviser Essam El-Erian outlined the president's new plans for Egypt on CNN in an interview with Christiane Amanpour.

Essam El-Erian told Christiane Amanpour live on television that the new constitution would be finalized the same day and adopted the following day, that is today, November 29, 2012. Within two weeks, the Egyptian people would be allowed to vote on it in a national referendum. Furthermore, Essam El-Erian made clear that President Mori's extraordinary new powers would end with the adoption of the new constitution in two weeks.

On CNN, Essam El-Erian also assured Christiane Amanpour that the new Egyptian constitution would guarantee women's rights and minority rights. He said that the Sharia would not be introduced in Egypt; the constitutional reference to the Sharia would be the same
as in Egypt's 1971 constitution.

Morsi a new pharaoh?

It is evident that Morsi's Constitutional Declaration goes beyond what is acceptable in a democracy. But the fault is not solely in the president's corner. Many Egyptian judges as well as
Egypt's top prosecutor were creatures of the old Mubarak regime. Many - although not all - of them tried to obstruct the peaceful transition towards democracy and/or tried to protect Mubarak cronies, corrupt and criminal behavior before and during the 2011/12 revolution in Egypt.

Egyptian judges had already ruled that the lower house of parliament had not been elected properly and had to be dissolved. The judges were about the declare the same regarding the Constitutional Assembly
, which is unfortunately dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Most women, moderate and liberal members of the Constitutional Assembly had resigned in protest over the Muslim Brotherhood imposing its agenda in the drafting of the new constitution. In total, 22 of the 100 lawmakers of the Constitutional Assembly had at least temporarily resigned from the lawmaking office.

It is also true that the Muslim Brotherhood has tried to grab more and more power, for instance imposing members of their movement or people close to it as newspaper editors. Morsi has broken some promises. He has neither appointed a woman nor a Copt as his vice-presidents. One can come to the conclusion that the presidential decrees and the rush towards the adoption of a new constitution are just steps towards the establishment of a regime with absolute power by President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, Morsi and his party seem to have adopted
“salami tactics”, grab power slice by slice. However, the jury can only be out after a closer look at the new constitution and after the next parliamentary elections.

Currently, the Constitutional Assembly has began voting on Egypt's new constitution. If everything goes according to Morsi's new plan, the Egyptian voters could pronounce themselves on the matter in two weeks already.

It would be best for Egypt to continue the power struggle not in the streets of Cairo and elsewhere but in a democratic voting process. Voters should decide on the new constitution and will be able to elect a new parliament within a few months. As long as the Egyptian people can freely decide who will govern them and how, in which framework, high hopes for the establishment of a fully-functioning democracy in Egypt remain intact.

The best that has happened thanks to Morsi's seven famous decrees is the unification of the opposition. Let's hope that the liberals, moderates and true democrats will work together in the next parliamentary election too.

Books about Egypt from and

The seven articles of President Morsi's famous Constitutional Declaration issued on November 22, 2012 as translated by Al Ahram:

Article I

Reopen the investigations and prosecutions in the cases of the murder, the attempted murder and the wounding of protesters as well as the crimes of terror committed against the revolutionaries by anyone who held a political or executive position under the former regime, according to the Law of the Protection of the Revolution and other laws.

Article II

Previous constitutional declarations, laws, and decrees made by the president since he took office on 30 June 2012, until the constitution is approved and a new People’s Assembly [lower house of parliament] is elected, are final and binding and cannot be appealed by any way or to any entity. Nor shall they be suspended or canceled and all lawsuits related to them and brought before any judicial body against these decisions are annulled.

Article III

The prosecutor-general is to be appointed from among the members of the judiciary by the President of the Republic for a period of four years commencing from the date of office and is subject to the general conditions of being appointed as a judge and should not be under the age of 40. This provision applies to the one currently holding the position with immediate effect.

Article IV

The text of the article on the formation of the Constituent Assembly in the 30 March 2011 Constitutional Declaration that reads, "it shall prepare a draft of a new constitution in a period of six months from the date it was formed” is to be amended to "it shall prepare the draft of a new constitution for the country no later than eight months from the date of its formation."

Article V

No judicial body can dissolve the Shura Council [upper house of parliament] or the Constituent Assembly.

Article VI

The President may take the necessary actions and measures to protect the country and the goals of the revolution.

Article VII

This Constitutional Declaration is valid from the date of its publication in the official gazette.

Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
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© Copyright  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.