Abdullah Al-Arian: Frankenstein's Constitution in Egypt

tags: Egypt, Al Jazeera, Abdullah Al-Arian, constitutions, Egyptian Revoluton




Abdullah Al-Arian received his PhD from Georgetown University and is currently an Assistant Professor of history at Wayne State University, where he specialises in the modern Middle East.

If the vacuous civilian leadership and the military’s recent brutality were not enough to demonstrate the shortsighted nature of the “people’s coup” in Egypt, the constitutional declaration issued by army-backed interim president Adly Mansour certainly does. From the moment the Egyptian military deposed Mohamed Morsi and announced its roadmap for yet another transition, major questions emerged concerning the imposition of a new political process and how inclusive that process would be.

The resulting declaration incorporates a patchwork of various elements of the previous transition, including some of the most troubling aspects of the Morsi presidency that prompted the mass protest movement that led to his removal in the first place. With the Egyptian opposition’s disparate parts already voicing strong objections to its content, the declaration also promises to be as divisive as any decree issued over the last thirty months.

One of the major differences in the new transition is in prioritising the passage of a constitution ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections. When this question was put to Egyptians in a March 2011 referendum, they voted overwhelmingly in favor of electing their representatives first and then tasking them with selecting the committee to write the constitution....



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