Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Earth Day : A beautiful Fayoum Hoopoe on Video

via Instagram @username

On the occasion of Earth Day, I share with you little video clip I captured in Fayoum governorate in February 2017.
I had not seen that number hoopoes in a single place in Egypt like in Fayoum.
A hoopoe in Egypt's Fayoum
A hoopoe standing on a staircase 
Fayoum has got its amazing location that attracts the migrant birds in their annual migration so you can see many types of birds there unlike any other Egyptian city or governorate.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Voting Girl 2019 : Constitutional amendments referendum edition "Updated"

Pink finger
The pink finger is back
Your Voting girl is back with her pink finger: Constitutional amendments referendum 2019 edition. As a good Egyptian, I participated in the constitutional amendments referendum. 

I voted against the amendments and I guess I made my point here in that post. 

What have I seen? I was lucky enough to take a quick tour in the main Agouza and Downtown Cairo polling station.

I have seen it all and seen it first hand. I heard to first-hand accounts and second-hand accounts.

I have seen how working-class ladies wearing their black abayas bringing their kids and neighbors standing in queues to get those food supplies coupons for their vote in makeshift kiosks set up by MPs and members of Pro-regime parties like The future of Homeland.

Seeking "help" at a makeshift tent
One of those makeshift "help" tents in Downtown Cairo on Sunday

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Egypt’s Constitutional amendments : The final version

In less than 24 hours, Egyptians around the globe should be flocking to Egyptian embassies and consulate to kick off the Constitutional amendments referendum officially.
Here are the final version of the constitutional amendments as approved by the parliament and as originally published by Ahram Online in English.
Constitutional amendments
Pro-amendments banner in Heliopolis 

The articles involving the President of the Republic

The most controversial two amended articles from those controversial amendments.
In 70 days, the presidential term period changed according to Al-Manassa report.
The draft of the constitutional amendments which was presented to the House of Representatives on 9 February allowed current Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to stay in power and run for the office till the year 2034.

Then on 12 April, the amendment changed to allow Sisi to run for the office till the year 2026.
On 13 April, the amendment changed to allow him to run for the office till the year 2024.
A day later, on 14 April the amendment was changed to allow him to run till the year 2030.
Up till now, I do not fully understand why those changes took place.

Needless to say, I am totally against any extension of any kind to any president even if he were the man that transferred Egypt into a total liberal constitutional parliamentary country. There is also a constitutional debate that this amendment itself is unconstitutional and contradicts with Constitution 2014 and its articles that stipulates any amendments to the presidential powers related articles must be accompanied with more guarantees in political freedoms 

Amended Article No.140 :

The president of the Republic shall be elected for six (instead of four) years, beginning on the day after the end of his predecessor's term, and he/she cannot remain in office for more than two consecutive terms.

New transitional article 214 :

The term of the current sitting president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is to end after six years following the date of his election as president in 2018, and he can be re-elected for another six-year term.

The articles involving the vice president’s position
That position was originally abolished in Constitution 2014 for no apparent reason but it is back.
The word says that there current minister of transportation Kamel El-Wazir and current head of General intelligence service Abbas Kamel.

New article 150 :

The president of the Republic may appoint one or more deputies and shall determine their duties. The president may delegate his deputies to perform some of his duties and he has the authority to relieve them from their posts and accept their resignation.
The vice president of the Republic shall take the oath as stipulated in Article 144 of the constitution before the president of the republic.
The provisions of the constitution shall apply to the vice president of the republic in articles 141, 145 and 173.

New Article 160 :

If a temporary obstacle makes the elected president unable to perform his duties, he will be replaced by a vice president or prime minister if there is no vice president.
If a caretaker president takes office, he shall not be entitled to amend the constitution, dissolve the House of Representatives or Senate, or dismiss the government. The caretaker president will also not be allowed to run for president.

Article Involving House of Representatives
The number of the elected MPs is reduced as according to those amendments we are going to have an upper chamber in the parliament.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Egypt’s Constitutional amendments : Passed in the parliament , get ready for referendum starting from Friday

And two –third of Egypt’s parliament passed expectedly on Tuesday those controversial constitutional amendments including one to extend president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s presidential term to the year 2030 in Cairo on Wednesday and another one that would give the armed forces the right to interfere in political life to protect the civility of the State.

In numbers: 531 members voted in favor of the new amendments while 22 members voted it against and one member abstained from voting out of 554 MP who came on Tuesday.
The parliament and its MPs 
Here are the names of the 22 members : MP Ehab Mansour , MP Ahmed Tantawy , MP Haitham El-Hariri, MP Faiza Mahmoud , MP Mohamed Abdel Ghani, MP Samir Ghatas , MP Gamal El-Sherif , MP Reda El-Beltagy , MP Mohamed Atta Salim  ,MP Talaat Khalil , MP Abdel Hamid Kamel, MP Mostafa Kamal El-Din Hussein “Yes , the son of the famous Free officer” , MP Salah Abdel Badie ,MP Salah Abdel Bahie, MP Ahmed El-Sharkawy , MP Elhami Againa “since when is he opposing the regime ?” , MP Mohamed El-Atamani, MP Diaa El-Din Dawood, MP Shadeed Abou Hendiya, MP Abu El-Matai Mostafa, MP Akmal Qortam, MP Ahmed El-Bardissi and MP Mohamed Fouad “From New Wafd Party”.

This list is shorter than the list of the 104 MPs that rejected the demarcation agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia in June 2017.

Already except for at least three names, 19 MPs are opposed the demarcation agreement.
There are already 596 seats so there are 42 MPs who did not attend the session like MP Khaled Youssef who opposes the constitution and has been in Paris for at least month and a half following his sex scandal.

Now those constitutional amendments will be put to a referendum next week for both Egyptians and Egyptians abroad.
The referendum will be held on 19,20 and 21 April in Egyptian embassies and consulates around the globe for Egyptian expats and 21,22 and 23 April for Egyptians in Egypt.

It will be interesting to see the turnout in the polls because as we have seen that since the Constitution 2014 referendum, there has been a decline in the turnouts in the elections.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Seen in Cairo : Saad Pasha surrounded by Constitutional amendments banners

Saad Zaghlol's state

Egyptian leader of 1919 revolution Saad Zaghlol’s statue in Cairo surrounded by pro-constitutional amendments banners encouraging the public to vote for them “indirectly” using the slogan "Do it right ✅

The 1919 revolution’s centennial started in #March but it is overshadowed by the constitutional amendments.

The 1919 revolution led Egypt to its independence from the UK in 1922.

Speaking about Saad Zaghlol, I can't ignore the fact that the New Wafd Party which was the so-called original Wafd Party declared its endorsement to the constitutional amendments.

On 11 April 2019, the current leader Wafd Party and head of the legislative affairs committee MP Bahaa Abu Shoka declared that the party members agreed on the constitutional amendment by 93 %.

It is worth to mention that there was an opposition inside the party to the constitutional amendments but now I guess that 7% of the members-only oppose the amendments. It is worth to mention also technically Al-Wafd Party is no longer considered an opposition party.

The original and old Wafd party of Saad Zaghlol pasha led the political battle to restore Egypt's Constitution 1923 when it was replaced by Constitution 1930.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

#Sudanrevolts and Omar al-Bashir is ousted at last “Updated”

Updated :
Sudanese Professional Association “SPA” issued an important statement rejecting the armed forces statement issued Thursday afternoon calling the protesters to complete their sit-in and protesting movement as well Sudanese army officers and soldiers to join them.

“We are the powers of freedoms and change reject what was mentioned in the statement of those regime coup officers and call the great Sudanese people to continue their sit-ins,” The SPA said adding that “the authorities of the regime” made a coup to reproduce the same regime the people revolt against.

The Sudanese protesters demand a civilian interim government.
Protesters began to chant against the military.

Sudanese Minister of defense Awad Ibn Ouf declared on Thursday that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was ousted and currently detained in a safe secret place announcing the same time the formation of a military transitional council to rule Sudan for interim period of two years.
In those two years, fair elections and a new constitution will be prepared.

Ibn Ouf declared also the emergency status in the country for 3 months and a curfew from 10 PM to 4 AM for a month.
The air space is closed for 24 hours.

The once first-vice-president of al-Bashir also declared that the interim constitution 2005 was dissolved. The states’ government, the national and state parliaments and the cabinet are all dissolved.
The political detainees arrested in the past three months will be released according to that announcement.
Here is the statement in video in Arabic

That army’s declaration came after at least four months of ongoing protesting and rallies by Sudanese citizens in almost all Sudanese states following the announcement of al-Bashir that he would amend the constitution to allow him to run for another presidential term.