Thursday, March 17, 2011

Constitution Amendments Jazz “2” : And This is why I am saying “Yes”

I am saying “Yes” to the Amendments insh Allah and I know actually some people who read my blog will be shocked and will not believe themselves on how I would dare and Say “Yes”.

I am saying “Yes” while I am not a NDP or Salafi or MB or stupid enough to be fooled by some cheap media. I am saying “Yes” despite I refuse totally the use of religion to influence people’s vote. I am saying “Yes” and it is my right just like others have the right to say “No”.

You must know in our referendum the result whether “Yes” or “ No” will not be disastrous and will not end the revolution. According to General Mamdouh Shahin , the legal guru of the AFC these amendments if approved will be the core of a constitutional declaration that will put guidelines to our our political life till having a new constitution instead of constitution 1971. Of course in Al Masry Al Youm he later said that the president will rule by constitution without the presidential powers articles !! “We are speaking about 19 articles”  Either ways the AFC said that there will be a constitutional declaration , the constitutional declaration is a substitute to the constitution.

The only difference between “Yes” and “No” is that in “Yes” we have our timeframe , we have a timetable for the political transition of power from the armed forces council to the civilian authorities represented in the parliament and the president. The parliament and president will be obliged by amended article no.189 “repeated” if approved to put a new constitution in the following next 6 months once elected. 

The elected parliament will found a constitution committee made of 100 members from law experts , constitution experts , prominent personalities in the society and also representatives of the different sectors of the society. The constitution will be put and then the Egyptian people will go again to vote on its article one by one in a referendum.

Some people say that we should have that committee first and I will tell them it will need a lot of time to elect 100 members in that committee by direct election. Already what is the process we are going to elect these 100 members with ? Is it going to be like parliamentary election or what !? Amr Hamzawy spoke about electing combined lists , which means as a voter I have to choose from two or three lists made from 100 names !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! May be I did not get him right. Anyhow  in direct election process , you will give a golden opportunity for radicals and NDP remnants to write our new constitution. If we have a new constitution committee through direct election we can have Mortada Mansour in the committee. Some will say that no others will choose these 100 members and again I will ask them who these others are and who gave the right to choose on behalf of us.

Others like my dear Dr. ElBaradei speak about having a constitution in three months !!? The constitution needs more time especially if we are going  , already for one article like  no.75 we had this huge debate so what we will do when we reach to the presidential and parliamentary powers articles !!?

The presidential and parliamentary powers articles are the ones that determine if our political system will be a parliamentary or presidential and semi presidential. This is why I believe the constitution amendments committee  did not touch these articles.  Already for those who are scared that the constitution amendments will create another dictator because of these presidential  powers articles , I will ask them then why to choose a man based on his charisma and not on his program !!? Thank God none of the presidential candidates who announce their intentions to run have any kind charisma to become the pharaoh idol this nation loves to hate.  This irrational fear from another dictator underestimates the power of the people who brought down Mubarak after 30 years. People are not ignorant or idiot.

I am saying “Yes” because I do not want 1954 to happen again , for more 58 years now I have been ruled by military and now there is a golden chance I can’t miss or waste to have a real civilian life we once had prior the coup of 1952.

I am saying “Yes” because geopolitically the army has to return to the primary job and return back to the barracks , if you think the army can stay a year or more than you are totally wrong. I will not even speak about Eastern or Southern borders but I will speak about our western borders. If Qaddafi wins over the revolutionaries “ insh Allah he will not” , he will put us in his sick mind and his history is well known plus it happened before. FYI all the world now is speaking about the role and duty of the Egyptian army in Libya , the Arabs say we must help our brothers there and the West prefer to keep it Arab X Arab as it will be cheaper and safer. I do not have a problem that the Egyptian army to interfere along with other Arab armies but this is not the correct time at all the army is engaged in too many fronts I am afraid.

I am saying “Yes” because I am scared that Sami Anan will like the position and end up as the next president of Egypt. Already you must know the United States thinks so . Honestly I think the American with that report are burning him but you never know. You and I know the army is too damn popular and all people will say “Yes” if the general runs.

Already nobody now opens his or her mouth and criticizes the army , it is the second Mubarak in the media for God sake. For your information the movement of 1952 turned  the revolution of 1952 thanks to Taha Hussein , oh yes the great Taha Hussein turned in to a revolution and the officers took it from there. Those who read and understand what happened in 1954 will  know why we should not waste any time especially the army itself wants to leave after 6 months.

Before I leave this opinion , I want to say that I am not convinced with the idea of having a presidential council now because I know that the army’s representative will have the final word there too !! Let’s be realistic !! Not to mention how we are going to choose the other members of the council.

Knowing the political history of the Salafi movements and other religious movements aside from Muslim brotherhood , I believe that some of these movements are pushed by some remnants of Mubarak’s regime to create fear from the same old bogyman : “The Muslim brotherhood and the Salafi”. I will not speak about the Muslim brotherhood because my own explanation to the movement’s actions now is trying to please the army as much as they can. When was the last time MB enjoyed this status in Egypt in that way ?? I do not recall it actually.

Call me crazy , call me paranoid but this is what I began to suspect especially in the past few days that some of these Salafi groups are trigged by somebody to scare the people and the world and make them vote No. The Salafists are distributing flyers showing their total ignorance , Say Yes to keep article no.2 and to have a victory against the secular  !!! Those idiots do not know that whether it is Yes or No we are going to change the whole constitution !!

Of course on the other side Egyptian Christians are scared from them and the leftists and liberals can’t stomach them either. Most if not all the Egyptian Christians I have met are going to vote No just because the MB and Salafists are going to vote yes and this makes me wonder what if the MB and Salafistis vote no !! The Christian Egyptians have to be worried but they should have confidence in their vote and also in the Egyptian Muslims.

The MB already made it clear that they will run for only 30% of the parliament and in normal democratic circumstances they can end up having 20% of the seats of the parliament especially they got a fierce competition now from the newly founded Al-Wasat party. Now regarding the Salafists ,well I have got bad news this is democracy , you have take it all or leave it. The only way to conquer them in democracy is by ideas not by security forces.

The liberal and leftist forces in the country claim that early elections will make the NDP and MB win the majority of the party. They believe the NDP will restructure itself in this short period , well pardon me but the long period will give it even longer time to restructure itself more stronger !! I do not understand till when the Liberal and leftist groups and powers in Egypt will continue complaining about the popularity and the structure of Muslim brotherhood in the country while they are siting on their asses doing nothing except talk , talk , talk !!? These political powers should go to the street and start talking to the people with their simple language , to the normal people at the country side and at the factories.

I once read that the AFC and cabinet will enroll the new parties law where parties officially recognized by just notification so dear liberals and leftists what are waiting for !!!?

There is a little political elitism I believe from these political groups that do not want to leave Cairo and spend sometime with Egyptians in Delta and Upper Egypt. They do not want to speak their language nor to listen the simple needs of these people. If these groups are not ready to go to the streets and start to fight ideas by ideas now , they will never be ready I am afraid.

Back to the constitution amendments , the Yes and No teams want the same thing  but I believe the Yes team wants Utopia while we live in the real world and we need to be more active and proactive.

Some will  remind me in a cheap attempt with the blood martyrs and the revolution that I am betraying while forgetting that these martyrs died so everyone like you and me can vote freely without knowing the result in advance or without someone forcing me to vote.

I will say Yes and if  what I do not get what I want from a new constitution , I will simply go to Tahrir square again and I will not be alone at all.


  1. There is no obligation, please read the article properly..(this has nothing to do with any political affiliation)

    و لكل من رئيس الجمهورية و بعد موافقة مجلس الوزراء و نصف أعضاء مجلسي الشعب و الشورى طلب إصدار دستور جديد و تتولى جمعية تأسيسية من مائة عضو ينتخبهم أغلبية أعضاء المجلسين غير المعينين في اجتماع مشترك إعداد مشروع الدستور في موعد غايته ستة أشهر من تاريخ تشكيلها و يعرض رئيس الجمهورية المشروع خلال خمس عشرة يوما من إعداده على الشعب لاستفتائه في شانه و يعمل بالدستور من تاريخ إعلان موافقة الشعب عليه في الاستفتاء.

    In legal terms there is no obligation whatsoever

    طلب إصدار دستور جديد

    The actual translation(in case you only know English)
    For the presidency, the Ministers council and half the legislatives the RIGHT to issue a new constitution.

    There is no legal or constitutional guarantees forcing the elected MPs and president to frame a new constitution.

    Legally, this is a joke(and I am a solicitor) if the committee did want to obligate (the non-existent obligation you keep 'repeating') then that's how it should have been framed

    ويلتزم كل من رئيس الجمهورية و بعد موافقة مجلس الوزراء و نصف أعضاء مجلسي الشعب و الشورى طلب إصدار دستور جديد فى مده لا تتجاوز ٠٠٠٠(تحديد الفتره) كون العمل بهذا الدستور يعتبر دستور مؤقت لفتره انتقاليه لحين تاسيس مجلس شعب و انتقال لسلطه مدنيه و لعمل جمعية تأسيسية من مائة عضو ينتخبهم أغلبية أعضاء المجلسين غير المعينين في اجتماع مشترك إعداد مشروع الدستور في موعد غايته ستة أشهر من تاريخ تشكيلها و يعرض رئيس الجمهورية المشروع خلال خمس عشرة يوما من إعداده على الشعب لاستفتائه في شانه و يعمل بالدستور من تاريخ إعلان موافقة الشعب عليه في الاستفتاء.
    و فى حالة عدم الالتزام بنص هذه الماده و تجاوز الفتره المحدده لتاسيس الجميعه يعتبر الدستور معلق و تحل كافة المجالس النيابيه و تتعتبر جميع صلاحيات الرئيس ملغاه و ترد الى المجلس العسكرى الذى يتولى مهام تاسيس جمعيه لصياغة دستور جديد و لا يجوز اشراك اى من اعضاء المجالس النيابيه فى اللجنه

    This is an obligation! what you're saying is an obligation is constitutional rubbish.

    You as anyone else are free to vote yes and it's your right but reciting legal hogwash as an obligation isn't.. don't know what an obligation is؟ then please ask a lawyer!

  2. It's not about irrational fear or charisma, that is rubbish(Mubarak had charisma?), its about properly framing a legitimate article. As a lawyer(although not a constitutional one)I can tell Tarek Bishrey has failed terribly.

    The 189 could have been framed differently to append restrictions and obligations towards a new constitution if it was about the Armed forces handing powers to civilian rule. If a new constitution can take a while(although that's very debatable) then the Armed forces could have handed over to a 'presidential council' during. This is all rubbish.. the reason the army hasn't returned to its 'primary job'(protecting Israel's border and fighting marijuana plantations in the Sinai) is because the Police are being lazy and reluctant in doing its job without bribes. This has nothing to be with constitution or elections. The supreme council could still be in session when the army is back to the barracks, it isn't like we are in a time of war and they urgently need to be focusing on a war.

    Vote yes, and I don't try to persuade anyone to vote No but what I don't like is talking nonsense and justifying the vote(if someone is giving excuses then that means they know something isn't quite right-especially false excuses). Vote yes and say because I can trust the army or the elected president and the next People's assembly to issue a committee (although you don't have any legal or constitutional obligations this will happen) so you're hanging your vote on trust, there's nothing wrong with that but legally-wise it means nothing.

  3. Every lawyer I've spoken to in Egypt says what Omar is stating. Also, please consider why none of judges of the Supreme Constitutional Court supporting voting yes, or why they were not invited to help write the amendments in the first place? Please consider Al Badrawy's comments.

  4. عمر المادة 189 مكرر ملزمة !!

  5. @Omar, very well put. I would just add that there are a lot of unanswered questions about this referendum:

    1) Tarek Bishri is supposed to be a brilliant legal scholar -- so why is the wording about the so-called "obligation" to commission a new constitution so sloppy and in fact not an obligation at all?

    2) Under the 1971 constitution, there is no provision for any "Supreme Council of the Armed Forces" to take over from Egypt's president. If the amendments are accepted, then the 1971 constitution is back in effect (meaning, by the way, that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is unconstitutional). Allow me to repeat: THE 1971 CONSTITUTION WILL BE BACK IN EFFECT. Yes, the 1971 constitution that legalized the dictatorship and its corruption. With NO OBLIGATION for the future president or parliament to commission a new constitution.

    3) Why do the amendments not limit the president's powers in any way, but include detailed provisions that disqualify any candidate with dual citizenship or who has a non-Egyptian wife??!!

    4) Why did the Armed Forces Council move the referendum date up from April to March 19, yet did not publish the official text of the amendments in an official newspaper until barely a week before the referendum?

    There's too much monkey-business about these amendments for anybody to be trusting or naive.

    The constitution is THE contract between a people and its government. Leave the 1971 constitution in the garbage where it belongs, and let's demand a constitution worthy of those who died and suffered so much for our freedom.

  6. No, it isn't an obligation..not by any means. Please read it again:

    يجتمع الأعضاء غير المعينين لأول مجلسي شعب و شورى تاليين لإعلان نتيجة الاستفتاء على تعديل الدستور لاختيار الجمعية التأسيسية المنوط بها إعداد مشروع الدستور الجديد خلال ستة اشهر من انتخابهم و ذلك كله وفقا لأحكام الفقرة الأخيرة من المادة 189.

    This is not an obligation, In legal framing(Arabic) an mandation can only be in one word:


    Not only that there isn't a mandation, it refers to section B
    ذلك كله وفقا لأحكام الفقرة الأخيرة من المادة 189

    This means they are abided only by Section A. Read section A and there is no obligation. Nott only there isn't that obligation , it refutes the last section! as Section A states that a new constitutional is a 'consitutional right' for the president(a complete choice) ..this is legal nonsense.

    You can't mandate in an append what has been declared a right and choice in the first section. complete and utter legal rubbish.

    انها ليست ملزمه لانها لا تنص على صفة الازام القانونى بشكل صريح- ليس هناك فى القانون -و الدستورى حاصة- لون رمادى . ( اصل المشرع قصده يعنى ؟)
    هذا لا يجوز بالمره ثم اضاف طبقا للفقره الاخيره و هى كيفية تاسيس الجمعيه و هذه الفقره نفسهلا مرتبطه بالماده الاساسيه و ليست منفصله عنها - اى على عكس المكرر هى لا تفهم دون نص الماده كاملا و لا تفسر كانها جزء فريد و هي تعطى الصلاحيه فقط للرئيس و كشكل اختيارى و ليس ملزم لذلك كان يوجب الالزام فى النص الاساسى حتى لا تعطى الرئيس الصلاحيه "بالتملص" القانونى - فلا يوجد له اى الزام و لا للمجلس المنتخب بناء على نص الفقره الاولى. الماده ١٨٩ فى مجملها هى دعاره دستوريه - فهذا ليس بتعديل و لا حتى ترقيع ، هذه مسخره قانويه و الاستاذ طارق البشرى يعلم ذلك جيدا و يحاول الدفاع عن "تعديلات" معيبه

  7. Zeinobia, hi. This is a really important argument... But I really want to contact you about another matter (that I've submitted a couple of 'contact' forms to you about.) Can you get back to me? I think it could be a really exciting project.... ~ Helena 'at'

  8. @Alice, I can't tell you why he did not properly frame the wording clearly indicating the mandation. I can only speculate either members of the committee or the Supreme council had a part in this because this is a legal fiasco considering Bishrey's credentials. I don't trust anyone but I'm not into conspiracy theories, I could be wrong as I can tell the Army wants to hand over civilan rule rather hastily and in not phrasing a clear mandation, they are avoiding resuspending the constitution because a direct mandation can only be through repercussions of suspending the people's assembly \and the constitution again(so-called fear of constitutional void- which doesn't seem to be a problem in Britain) Unlike what Zeinobia says about irrational fear, it's actually the other way round, the TV 'experts' who are inciting an irrational fear claiming a no vote will lead to a constitutional void=failed state. This is not true because this doesn't affect applicable laws which will not change or become invalid without a constitution. i.e. the country will still be functioning!

    They might go ahead and issue a new constitution but as I mentioned this means you vote yes on trust and nothing else. A citizen is free to vote on trust(in selecting MPs a vote is based on trust in your representative) but if an MP fails he will not be re-elected. When it comes to a new constitution, trust in my opinion and for strictly legal reasons, trust is not enough.

    Yes, I completely agree that those "amendments/constitutional prostitution" are a disgrace to those who lost their lives, because ultimately we can end in 71 constitutional loop because we trusted the committee and trusted Bishrey and trusted the supreme council and trusted the next president and trusted the MPs to issue a new one when we didn't have any legal guarantees.

  9. @Omar and @Alice, well said

    I cannot believe that the mighty Egyptian people that faced one of the worst tyrant on earth is ready to give up their right because they fear chaos. What chaos are they talking about?
    The chaos that killed hundreds of martyrs?
    the chaos that made Egypt one of the most dependant country in the world?

    I agree with every single word Alice and Omar wrote.

    Hundreds of people died for the revolution , and the result is: some people want stability. Well, if you sell your freedom and your rights for democracy for stability, then you should not have support the revolution.

    The revolution objective is clear: transform Egypt into a true democratic, meritocratic, transparent country, where the people is the only true legitimacy for power (not the army).

    To all who advocate accepting the amendments because they fear chaos, I tell them not to forget the hundres of martyrs. I tell them not to forget that the main problem in Egypt was not dual nationality or even number of mandates (look at Russia to understand how Putin remains the powerful man in Russia even he left presidency and became Prime Minister).

    The problem is that some people dont really want to change the constitution, and dont want to fight a little bit more to get democracy.

    @Zenobia, if you fear that 1954 is repeated, then we dont deserve democracy: we should never accept to submit to the army's wish. The army has no legitimacy. It is unconstitutional that they are in power now, it is unconstitutional that they choose a commitee to make amendments, and it is unconstitutional that they impose the amendments they want (and they are the army's amendments).

    A constitution is something holy, not a piece of paper that can be changed whenever we want. I am quite sure that nothing will change in the future if these amendments are accepted. Please think again about what you say.

    Moreover, there is no obligation to issue a new constitution. I invite everybody to read again article 189.


  11. "I am saying “Yes” because geopolitically the army has to return to the primary job"

    I will say NO precisely so the army can't return to their primary job selling basbousa and organizing weddings :D

  12. @Omar & @Alice
    I tend to agree with most of -if not all- your comments & I don't support Zeinobia's fears of the repetition of 1954 scenario because I honestly don't believe the US will approve it, so Enan can enjoy ruling for the time being but he fully understands that will pack his bags & leave sooner rather than later. However, the one argument I share with Zeinobia is that the NDP can never be ready now -or in 3 months- for ANY political activity, neither for an awareness campaign nor for parliamentary elections. Furthernore, I do believe that TIME is to their favor actually just like the new political parties of tahrir ; they need time for gathering new political force -with somewhat better reputation than the old members & also maybe by time people will get more scared from the growing political power of the religious parties -MB & Salafis- & will choose the NDP for the old "social & economic stability" once again. But the ONLY people ready now are the MB for sure -not even the salafis or the Jehadid in my opinion-, so why would the NDP not only call the people to vote YES but to declare this at a time where they know thatvthey have no credibility whatsoever. Infact, many people will vote no just for the mere fact that the NDP is calling for the opposite because they didn't get the full chance to understand what the amendments are all about in the first place.

  13. You people are CRAZY, the Armies of Egypt, Tunisia and soon Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia in fact all along north African coast down south east leading to the arabia sea where oil is plenty will make sure they will call the shots using sometimes soft power as in the case of Tunisia and Egypt and maybe Libya and also hard power as in the case of bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Forget about Qatar and Abou Dhabi these are already two corporate states. And yes the Army of Egypt will go back to selling basbousa just as the Army of Pakistan where the inspiration comes from, is involved in real estate and much more. Long live the revolution.

  14. anonymous, I don't care for that I don't want them to go back making basbousa because theirs is one makes it as it used to be and using I-can't-believe-it;s-not-butter, this is exactly why I marched in the protests! out confectioneries has deteriorated badly in the last years LONG LIVE TSEPPAS!!!

  15. For me it's NO.

    If you don't want to fall into another dictature, everybody has to say no.

  16. Oh dear, I don't know where to start

    *"The parliament and president will be obliged by amended article no.189 “repeated” if approved to put a new constitution in the following next 6 months once elected."
    Uh...No!! you think if this was the case people would be making such a hubbla over it? But let's just say that the next parliment are true to their word and decide to draft a new constitution. The next parilment who will undoubtly be made of NDP and MB will fudge together the commitee. How assuring!

    *"I am saying “Yes” because geopolitically the army has to return to the primary job and return back to the barracks"
    This is perhaps the most ridicously argument from the YES camp. Are you aware that there are 19,000,000 service men and women? There are many different divisions with many different responsibilities. That fear of noone protecting us from the impending "Zionist invasion" as the MB claim is completely laughable. The army has an incredibly strong and unused Air Force if it choose to take part in the Libya operation.

    And since you bring up Taha Hussien, He married a French lady and according to the amendments he's not pure enough to be Egyptian anymore.
    And what if a agree with some amendments while refuse to accept some, what should I do then? You see how scewed up this is?

    You need to get out of this self-imposed bubble, where the entirety of Egypt is made up of hip, liberal bloggers. There are radicals, There are ALOT of ignorant people in Egypt who can be easily swayed and manipulated because as we all know it's much easier to rule ignorant people that to rule well-informed people. There are people who allow their passion for their religon overpower their rationale. Not everything can be blamed on SS agents.

    Six months isn't enough obviously, who can compete with the MB and their Saudi funding? And you're argument that more time will allow the NDP to re-assemble itself...I maybe be COMPLETELY INSANE but a political party accused of forgery and inciting violence against peacful protesters should surely be dismantled SURELY!!!

  17. I noticed that People in Egypt are starting to go home and feel relaxed. For many they think that is it, they got what they wanted so now they can go back to their lives. No it is not finished,it has just started. The next phase is far more important, Egyptians must continue to make their presence felt, they must observe, comment, protest and guide not simply in state governance for that is what democracy is all about. Keep going into the street and demand your right up to the voting day, do not go to sleep now since that is what the elite expects,do not give them what they expect always give them what they dont, surprise them, keep them on their tows, implant the fear of the law into them that if they try to steal your revolution then they will be out of the political process, we call that political accountability.


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