There are many reasons why I should say NO to the draft constitution like the fact we became a presidential state despite it was better to have a semi-presidential state , the President got no vice president and Shura council got more power than the people’s assembly. Still there is one article that makes me want to say big “NO” , article no.76 .
Article No.76 states the following :
No punishment without a legal or constitutional text
This is the first time in the world and history according to constitution experts that we got those words “and Constitutional text”
In Constitution 1971 article no.66 was as followed :
No punishment without legal text
Now this alteration in the article allows directly judges to ignore the law and go directly for Islamic Sharia or rather to be accurate for their own interpretation of Sharia based on that Sheikh from Salafists or this Sheikh from Al Azhar.
Article No.2 says that the Principles of Islamic Sharia are the main source of legislation already so I do not know if this means that judges will go for the principles or for the rules. Of course we will have another debate about the word “Principles” but according to all legal experts who are against the alteration fear that can for judges the doors to go directly to Sharia with all the debates about its rules.
This article has been modified by the Salafists above them Yasser El Borhami who confessed that he and other Salafists manipulated with words to get what they wanted. He bragged in a video on how he altered it and why he altered it :
There was an article in [the 1971] constitution stating no punishment without a legal text. But we objected to this article and were able to change it to ‘no punishment without a legal or constitutional text’ because if it had remained in the original format, consensual adultery, homosexuality, and usury would not be punished, as they are currently not prohibited by law
With my due respect to those conservatives in Egypt but I believe the Sharia is already implemented in the Personal Issues and families laws from a long time and we are not secular country like Tunisia or Turkey that is finding its way back to Islam after decades of radical secularism. I believe already Sharia will be misused in the hands of those radical conservatives who are already representing the biggest danger on Islam and Egypt now !!
The man for all seasons who used to attack the Muslim brotherhood directly on National TV during the time of Mubarak and whom our current president now used to warn his brothers from aka Essam Sultan the member of the Constituent assembly defends this article. He claims that this article is altered because there are some crimes punishable in the constitution like torture and so on adding that it talks to the legislator !!!
I am not convinced at all with explanation because torture was also criminalized in 1971 and we did not have this addition plus I understand Arabic very well to know that this article is about legislation !!
The fact that this comes from Essam Sultan makes me already uncomfortable !!
To represent counter view , here is Judge Ahmed Abu Shosha “A reformist judge” who believes that article with that new alteration will allow the executive authority represented in the president to issue decrees regulations that can be regarded laws and sources of punishment. I do not know if I translated what he is saying in Arabic as it should or not.
By the way I know that this draft constitution will be approved but it does not matter because insh Allah it will be downed even after couple of years. Anyone bothered to read the Modern Egyptian history will know this.