The 100-member Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the Constitution has been named. Again, it is dominated by Islamists, and many liberals and secularists have withdrawn themselves from the process. MP Amr Hamzawy said today:“They [the Islamists] are repeating the same mistakes again. I completely refuse to take part in a process whereby the domination of a certain faction would be protected by law.” It seems Islamists just do not get it. Today’s majority is not necessarily tomorrow’s majority, why should today’s majority (Islamists) dominate the drafting process of the Constitution?
The creation of the Constituent Assembly is an indicator of what Islamists rule would look like in the future. They would over time reinstall a new replica of the Mubarak regime. I mean the Islamists in parliment did not even include Aboul Fotouh, who few days ago endorsed Morsy for reelection. They did not include Hamdeen Sabahi, who is supported by many young revolutionaries. Prominent names, such as Ahmed Zewail or El-Baradei are not on the list. It is the Muslim Brotherhood and Salfists who are attempting to reinvent Egypt’s identity by monopolizing the drafting process of the Constitution.
The situation is not ideal, but I am not worried. SCAF with all its flaws is the current safeguard of Egypt’s secular identity. Yes, SCAF will protect its own core interests, but at the same time it will not let Islamists reshape Egypt’s identity in the new Constitution. So, the question is: What happens next?
Nobody can answer this question. However, there is an obvious Constituent Assembly crisis, a repetition of what happened in March. It looks like the creation of a Constituent Assembly with broad national consensus will not happen before the presidential election, which is scheduled in few days. We know the outcome of the Constituent Assembly ciris in March, the assembly was dissolved with liberals and secularist embracing it as a victory.
Nobody can predict what happens next. But, Field Marshal Tantawi stated few days ago that an amended version of the suspended 1971 Constitution would come into effect, if Parliament had failed to form a Constituent Assembly. SCAF will most properly dissolve the Constituent Assembly in the near future and reinstate an amended version of the 1971 Constitution or issue a Constitutional declaration protecting its narrow interests in the document.
Many prominent public and political figures have condemned the Islamists domination in the new Constituent Assembly. If SCAF dissolves the current assembly, it will be received positively by liberals and secularists, while most properly be opposed by Islamists.
The situation in Egypt is complex and much is at stake. Many are fighting for their narrow and personal interests. I hope the day will come, when people start fighting for the interests of Egypt. After all, there is no Islamic Egypt, nor a military Egypt, nor a liberal Egypt, there is only the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Adel El-Adawy is editor and creator of the Egyptian Student Abroad blog.Egyptian politics is in his blood as his grandfather served as senior foreign policy advisor to former president to Anwar Sadat and his father is Egyptian Ambassador to Liberia. A candidate for a Masters in Political Science at the American University in Washington, DC, Mr. El-Adawy is currently a research assistant at the Midde East Institute in Washington.
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