Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Amending the Egyptian Constitution in 2019 : More details and More reactions

Do you remember what I told you in early December 2018 that there is a plan to amend the Egyptian Constitution in 2019 and we began to see its prelude in front of the court?

Well two days before the end of 2018 , close to presidency journalist and Akhbar Al-Youm editor in chief Yasser Rizk wrote  in his weekly column about “how the new year should be the year of political reform {after the successful economic reform}” and that this reform should be focused on one thing: amending the constitution.

According to Rizk, the 2014 constitution is full of flaws about them the limitation of the presidential terms and how the parliament got so-called bigger power than the president and the government.

The editor in chief and CEO of Egypt's second biggest state-owned newspaper says that the parliament should return to be two chambers , Egypt should have a full presidential political system with open presidential terms, the return of information ministry and bunch of other amendments including the cancellation of “transitional justice” section in the constitution because it opens the doors for “reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood”.

Almost all the amendments Mr. Rizk proposed in his column would turn the 2014 constitution into Mubarak’s own version of 1971 constitution.

Constitution For all Egyptians banner in Egypt's Tahrir square
One constitution for all Egyptians banner in Tahrir square once upon a time 
Now being realistically enough, he suggested that if the amendments idea failed, then the regime should establish some Supreme council to protect “the values of the 30 June Revolution” headed by El-Sisi for the rest of his life to make sure that the “30 June Revolution” achieve its goals.

I do not know if that Supreme council idea was inspired by the current Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution of Iran or what but its idea actually bothers more than amending the constitution.
I love how he completely ignores the 25 January revolution.

In his column this week, Yasser Rizk said that what he had mentioned a week earlier was the child of his own thoughts and that he was not dictated by higher orders bragging that he created a “tsunami” in the media.

The thing is that what he had mentioned as his own suggestions were previously mentioned in Mada Masr’s own exclusive report about those future constitutional amendments.

He also says that according to his interactions with El-Sisi since he was a minister of defense, the man does not want to run for another presidential term adding that he did not want to run for the presidency in the first place.
It is worth to mention that in November 2017, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said in an interview that was broadcasted on US-based CNBC that he would not seek another third presidential term.
The good thing about Yasser Rizk that it brought that proposed roadmap to the public.
More people are speaking about it as a fact. Here is a very report on Ahram Online about those constitutional amendments.
What caught my eyes in that report is the bold statement of Pro-regime extremist MP Mostafa Bakri that the “the 2014 constitution was drafted under heavy international pressure and extortion by the Muslim Brotherhood”.
I wonder what Amr Moussa and the rest of 2014 Constitution committee think about that !?

So-called hardcore Pro-Sisi supporters in the Media want it to happen yet some other people say no.
On Friday, nearly 100 opposition leftist, liberal and Nasserite public figures signed a statement rejecting the attempts to amend the constitution including former President Candidate Hamdeen whom I will speak about later in this post.
Needless to say, in the current political opposition silence, this is an act of bravery.
Reading the names, I spotted some of the names that strongly supported El-Sisi in the first but had a second thought in the past few years.
The mainstream media completely ignored this statement.
Interestingly one began to see opposition to the so-called ideas or suggestions proposed by Razek inside Sisi’s own supporters camp.
I can’t ignore those voices.

There has been a rumor spread around that the regime is negotiating with Hamdeen Sabbahi and his Nasserite Karama Party to support the upcoming constitutional amendments in return of releasing detained political activists and bigger share for the opposition in the upcoming parliament.
A parliament with a bigger share for the opposition “The 25January-30June so-called camp” with nearly 100 seats is something I have been hearing for a while now because the current all yes-parliament looks bad.
 This means the parliamentary elections are not going to be fair and that the results are being tailored.

Anyhow back to the rumor that spread shortly online, leading members in Karama Party have denied it also online like Dr. Mohamed Bassiouny denied that there were any talks between his party and the regime currently or in the future.

Any attempt to amend the constitution to extend the presidential terms is completely rejected and we will stand against if this happens regardless of the dangers just like we fought with the national powers the battle to defend the Egyptian identity of Tiran and Sanafir” He said on 2 January in his official Facebook.

Completely ignored by the mainstream media, founder of Karama Party and former Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi posted this his official Facebook page on Friday.
“No for attacking the constitution , no for supporting oppression and defending the constitution is a patriotic and moral duty,” He said.

On Saturday, former Constitution committee member, current MP and prominent director Khaled Youssef issued a long statement in his official statement of his official Facebook also denied too that there is some kind of “ a deal” between the regime and the “opposition”.
He also expressed his complete rejection to amending the constitution as an original member of those 50 people who drafted the 2014 constitution.

My stance is still the same from amending the current constitution which I was honored to be one from 50 Egyptian citizens that participated in drafting it. I said publicly over and over in many statements in TV shows from more than two years ago and I am saying it ; the Egyptian constitution is a need to be implemented not to be amended” He said adding that his stance won’t change despite he may pay soon a heavy price for that stance sooner or later.

I will continue to believe that it is patriotic duty to defend this popular document {the constitution} is the most important and the last of what remained to the Egyptian people from 25 January /30 June revolution because it is the only remaining hope to establish a democratic modern civilian state” He added slamming both the MB and “the supporters of the regime” in the rest of the statement.
Youssef’s statement is full many interesting points that speak crystal clear about the current political situation in Egypt.

Ironically some of old Mubarak’s regime men have expressed their rejection of the constitutional amendment despite their total support to El-Sisi.

Among these men, leading figure in former NDFP Dr. Hossam Badrawi

" We started to read about constitutional amendments allegedly for the lack of alternatives to President El-Sisi in ruling the country after three of years now. I tell those "who promote this idea" any regime that does not allow alternatives to appear from 100 million citizens is the inefficient regime. Egypt is bigger from any president. I am sure that the President respects his people and won’t allow this.” He said on the first day of the year on his official Twitter account.

I think in the upcoming weeks we will see more developments about the constitution.

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