Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Road to Civil State : Presidential elections long race

First here are the Potential presidential candidates currently in spotlight for those interesting :
  • Mohamed ElBaradei
  • Amr Moussa
  • Abdel Manam Abu El Fatouh
  • Hisham El Bastawisi
  • Mohamed Salim El Awa
  • Hazem Abu Ismail
  • Hamdeen Sabhi
  • Bothania Kamel
  • Ayman Nour
  • Magdy Hatata
  • Mohamed Balal
Potential candidates without official announcement :
  • Ahmed Shafik
  • Omar Soliman
TV stunt candidates :
  • Tawfik Okasha
  • Mohamed Naschie
The military unofficial candidate :
  • Sami Anan 
With my all due respect to all candidates and their titles, the arrangement does not mean anything except these are the names I have remembered while writing down this post. Personally despite I favor Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei then Abdel Manam Abu Fatouh , sometimes I believe our next president will be Mr."X" whether from civilian background or military background.
All these candidates depend on Article no. 26 from constitutional declaration :
It is required for whoever is elected president of the republic to be an Egyptian who has never held another citizenship, born of two Egyptian parents who have never held another citizenship, enjoying his/her political and civil rights, not married to a non-Egyptian, and not falling under the age of 40 years.
All these potential candidates are still waiting the “The organizing law for presidential elections ” to see if they can run or not and that law will be issued by the “Presidential elections commission” according to article no.28 in the constitutional declaration that will supervise the presidential elections from A to Z. Now when will the committee made of judges be set ?
Based on the dates proposed to the cabinet by the high elections commission responsible for the parliamentary elections and Shura council elections not before next year 2012.  The high elections commission suggested that the parliamentary election in three stages and their re-runs along with the Shura council elections in three stages and their re-runs would start from November 21st,2011 to end by early March 2012.
So logically “The Presidential elections commission” will not be set up and start operating before March 2012. According to article no. 2 from current Constitutional declaration , that committee will put “The organizing law for Presidential elections” and it should present it to the Supreme constitutional court to revise it in 15 days. The law preparation takes at least a month and if we consider that there will be a public debate about it with complains and praises .. so we can speak here about not less than two months in the best ideal circumstances.
We are speaking about June 2012 at least insh Allah. The Presidential elections commission officially announce the law and the dates of the elections as well as the start of presidential campaigns officially. The presidential Campaigns may take two or three months maximum so in best estimation the presidential elections will be in fall 2012 !!!!
The “Organizing law for presidential elections” will regulate the process from A to Z , it is not only the set of conditions posted in the constitutional declaration’s article No.26 but there are sets of conditions in the upcoming law above them the presidential campaigns’ funding that can be challenging for some potential candidates.
The real challenge for these potential candidates is actually the set of conditions in article no.27
To be nominated for the presidency of the republic, a candidate must be supported by 30 members at least of the elected members of the People’s Assembly and Shura Council, or the candidate may obtain the support of at least 30,000 citizens, who have the right to vote, in at least 15 provinces, whereby the number of supporters in any of the provinces is at least 1,000. 
I consider the citizens’ support to the independent candidates is like our Egyptian version of American primaries when you think about it. Except for the Karma Party whose chairman is Hamdeen Sabhi , none of the old or new parties has declared its official endorsement to any of those potential presidential candidates.
Also we must bear that the second part of article no.27 states the following :
Every political party with members who have won at least one seat by way of election in either of the People’s Assembly or Shura Council in the last elections may nominate one of its members for the presidency.
Which means all the parties that have at least one chair in the parliament can have a presidential candidate and this by its turn means that old NDP members hidden in New Parties “8 so far” have their own candidates like Walid Dabas or Hossam Badrawy or …even Tawfik Okasha !! “He is a member in Talaat Sadat’s new party”
You must remember we will have a new president before having a new constitution and you must remember that according to the acting C.D we are still fully presidential state and the president still enjoy these powers we want to transfer to the government and the parliament. The upcoming president will enjoy the same presidential powers of constitution 1971 that were copied in the constitutional declaration till we have a new constitution.
You must remember that the new president according to the old constitutions was the Supreme commander of Egyptian armed forces and by its turn the head of SCAF. Of course The powers
SCAF officially rules Egypt with the same presidential powers of constitution 1971 according to the C.D. “Article No.56”
Theoretically SCAF will leave power to the elected parliament and president when they fully assume their responsibilities according to article no.61 in C.D , which may mean before the draft constitution referendum.
Do not forget SCAF or the president has to invite the members of the parliament and Shura council in joint session with 6 months of their elections to elect a provisional assembly composed of 100 members which will prepare a new draft constitution for the country to be completed within another 6 months of the formation of this assembly.  The draft constitution will be presented within 15 days of its preparation to the people who will vote in a referendum on the matter. I think we are speaking about 2013.
After this timeline I believe our historical referendum is truly historical because whether you say Yes or No , you will have the same result !! Anyhow many observers think it was a test to see how our people were willing to have a real democratic life.
We need a clear timeline because the more SCAF stays , the sweeter the power will become for the military , the more the power will spoil SCAF general
Now we should not give up or get angry if this happens because we will find pre-made answers. Again the only way to protect the country from another 60 years of military rule is through unity , the more we are divided , the more we will be weaker in front of any military whether high rank in SCAF or small rank with an ambition of Nasser and his friends. Enough of doing mistakes already.
I am not afraid on our people but I am afraid from the self appointed politicians and political activists not to mention our self appointed revolutionaries who decided that know better than the rest of us. The best way to ensure that our revolution leads to a real democratic civil state is to make sure that elections from trade unions to local councils
The treachery law must be activated with its amendments , the NDP members must be banned from political life at least 5 years , it is a very small price for what this party has done to our nation. Enough from the waste of time about constitution declarations , Supra-constitution , constitution first ..etc because in the end we can have none.
The fears from Islamists take over should end because this is just like the days of Mubarak , the Islamists bogyman in the house to favor the military take over !! Well guess what I am in the favor of democratic elections take over more than military take over.
Our people are extremely smart , they did not give any legitimacy to Mubarak's fake elections .
Politics world is not a game and actually the transition period is very critical , very hard and it is a long battle. The old regime will try to return again and again through our goal which is democracy.
We will not achieve Egypt that we want except through better and right representation that will lead to better legislation and better accountability.
C.D in this blog post means constitutional declaration


  1. Only one female candidate. What civil country we are speaking about ?
    As long as women are not equal in the society there will be no liberation and freedom in Egypt.

  2. "I am in the favor of democratic elections take over more than military take over."

    Just you wait until the Salafists or Even the ikhwanists take over and you will be crying for saying this statement.

    When they decrease the age of marriage from 18 and allow child marriages, when they remove the prohibition regarding female circumcision, when they force a certain cloth standard like all fascist regimes and destroy tourism and foreign investments ( By the way I am not making any of this they announced they will do all this if they win the elections) and when they generally make the life of every female, coptic and any other muslim who does not agree with them a living hell.

  3. @Zeinobia and followers! Vote for Mohamed ElBaradei (or your favorite presidential candidate) in Voice of Egypt's straw poll! At the moment ElBaradei is in the lead with 30% while Hazem Salah Abu Ismail is in second place with 20%. Get the word out if you're on Twitter or whatever!

  4. Good points. Also have to aim for maximum participation and to combat apathy. This will ensure a responsive government. Technocrats are
    the fashion in the West these days and have their place but since a country like a person cannot live on bread alone, the full variety of society should compose the government especially the half of the population that has so far not had any presence in previous governments in Egypt. This is crucial.

  5. Great, many thanks for this analytical piece! But why you say "we will have a new president before having a new constitution"? If you have an elected parliament in lets say in March and then you will have the formation of the constitutional committee you could have the constitutional referendum within six months (if the committee works quickly also much earlier) and then you can have the constitutional referendum BEFORE the presidential elections - which would make sense.

  6. @Yehya so you prefer a military take over or even better a Turkish secular rule style to avoid the Islamist bogyman , well I am sorry but when it comes to civil democracy , either you have the guts to take it as a whole package or you leave it

  7. @anonymous , because this is a constitution not just a law that will finish in couple of days , this can be the most important constitution in our modern history.

  8. @Zeinobia or anyone who knows, does "not married to a non-Egyptian" in Article 26 mean "not currently married to a non-Egyptian"? I ask because Mohamed El Naschie divorced a non-Egyptian, Lydia Thorsen (the mother of his children) to marry an Egyptian, Mervat Heddini. So does that mean he is eligible to run under Article 26? He satisfies the other requirements.

  9. Well theoretically yes but does he have a foreign passport !? another nationality !?

  10. No, Z. He claims that he "always kept his Egyptian passport". I think that he holds no other citizenship but Egyptian, but I am not 100% sure. He could be Egyptian/British dual maybe, but I don't think so.


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