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.
It is even more interesting because it comes right before the grand Sinai Liberation/Easter/Sham El-Nassim/Labor Day mega holiday.
Another important point, there is a growing trend for those who oppose the referendum to go and to vote against it.

According to Internet watchdog NetBlocks.org, the Egyptian government blocked 34,000 websites in an attempt to block the anti-Constitution amendments’ campaign website “Batel” or “Void” !!

Netblocks.org found that since its launch on 9 April 2019, the website was blocked in Egypt several times yet it reached to its audience through VPN gaining more signups.
So to end its spread or gaining more signatures, the government decided to block all the websites hosted by the same hosting provider “Netlify” !!!
34,000 websites including foreign self-help websites, celebrity fan pages and technology startups were all blocked because of Void.
“Void Campaign” says that it managed to gather 315,503 online signatures so far since its launch earlier April.

The Parliament’s constitutional and legislative committee voted in favor of amending 14 articles as well adding 2 articles to Constitution 2014 on Sunday.
The articles involved are 102, 140, 160, 189, 190, 193, 200, 204, 234, 243 and 244.

By the way, it seems that we are going to have a new constitution within ten years from now according to the current speaker of the parliament Ali Abdel Aal because “of the changing political and economic conditions”.
I do not understand why we will have a new constitution every decade and I do not recall countries changing their whole constitutions because of the changing political and economic conditions.

The United States had 44 presidents and did not change the whole constitution. It only made 33 amendments to the constitution since the 18th century according to my humble knowledge.

It bugs me who officials and MPs repeat that the constitution could be amended because it is not a holy text.
According to humble knowledge, the Constitution is the sacred holy text of the true civilian state. It is the State’s true religious text that should follow it word by word.

Amazingly in the past two weeks, there was an invasion of banners across the country made by every kind of business you can imagine declaring their support to the Constitutional amendments even though the final amendments changed several times.

It is expected since day one that the parliament would pass those amendments by the majority.
There is no news here. The real news is actually how the constitutional amendments or rather amendment concerning the presidential term changed in the course of a couple of weeks.

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