- President Mohamed Morsi's Constitutional Decree - December 9, 2012 (Arabic) (English)
- Final Draft of Constitution, published November 29, 2012 (Arabic) (English) (Audio)
- President Mohamed Morsi's Constitutional Decree - November 22, 2012 (Arabic) (English)
- Draft of the Constitution, published October 24, 2012) (Arabic)
- Draft of the Constitution, published October 16, 2012 (Arabic) (English)
- President Mohamed Morsi's Decree Pardoning January 25 Prisoners - October 8 (English) (Arabic)
- President Mohamed Morsi's Constitutional Declaration - August 12 (English) (Arabic)
- President Mohamed Morsi’s Decree reinstating the dissolved parliament – July 8 (English) (Arabic)
- Renaissance (Nahda) Project (English)
- Morsi Meter (English) (Arabic)
- SCAF Amendments to Interim Constitution - June 17, 2012 (English) (Arabic)
- Interim Constitution (full text, English and Arabic), ratified by popular referendum on March 23, 2011)
- Law on the Presidential Election, No. 174, 2005 (Arabic)
- Electoral laws for the People’s Assembly and Shura Council (full text, Arabic, amended July 19, 2011)
- Law on Non-Governmental Organizations, No. 84/2002 (English)
- Law on the People’s Assembly, amended October 2011 (PDF, Arabic)
- Supra-Constitutional Principles (English) (Arabic)
- The Final Draft Wording of the Articles on Defense and National Security in the New Constitution (English) (Arabic)
- Leaked Articles of the Draft Constitution (English)
Egyptian Government Resources
- Official Facebook page of President Mohamed Morsi (Arabic)
- Official Facebook page of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil (Arabic)
- Official Facebook page of Presidential Spokesman Yasser Ali (Arabic)
- Official Facebook page of the Supreme Council of the Armed forces (Arabic)
- Official website of the Cabinet (English) (Arabic)
- Ministry of Interior (English) (Arabic)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs (English) (Arabic)
- Ministry of Finance (English) (Arabic)
- Ministry of International Cooperation (Arabic)
- Ministry of Social Solidarity (Arabic)
- Ministry of Information (Arabic)
- Ministry of Industry & Foreign Trade (English) (Arabic)
- Ahram Weekly (English)
- Egypt Independent (English)
- Daily News Egypt (English)
- Ahram Online (English)
- Akhbar al-Youm (Arabic)
- Ahram (Arabic)
- Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
- al-Masry al-Youm (Arabic)
- al-Shorouk (Arabic)
- al-Wafd (Arabic)
- Masrawy (Arabic)
- EGYNews (Arabic)
Think Tanks and NGOs:
- al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies (English)
- Arab Forum for Alternatives (English) (Arabic)
- Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (English) (Arabic)
- Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (English) (Arabic)
- Adl (Justice)
- al-Asala (Authenticity)
- Building and Development
- Democratic Front
- al-Dostour (Constitution)
- Freedom and Justice
- Ghad (Tomorrow)
- Ittihad (Union)
- Karama (Dignity)
- al-Masriyin al-Ahrar (Free Egyptians)
- Masr al-Hurriya (Egypt Freedom)
- Nour (Light)
- Popular Alliance
- Reform and Development
- Social Democratic
- Sufi Liberation
- al-Tayar al-Masry (Egyptian Current)
“It is unacceptable that when it is time to create a constitution, we split the country into Islamists and non-Islamists,” shouted George Ishaq, co-founder of the Kefaya Movement and member of Al-Dostour Party, as he walked down the steps at St. Mark’s Cathedral on Sunday following the inauguration of Pope Tawadros II. The previous day the Coptic Orthodox Church, along with Egypt’s Catholic and Evangelical churches, had announced the withdrawal of their five representatives from the Constituent Assembly. The announcement came in the midst of withdrawals from a wide range of groups, from secular politicians to the press and farmers syndicates. The exodus from the assembly jeopardizes the future of its controversial draft, criticized for leading Egypt down a path to a religious state.
In the past few months a slew of liberal and leftist representatives withdrew from the assembly, objecting to Islamist domination of the body’s proceedings. In part, they aimed to make room for more women, Christians, and young people to participate in the process.
The assembly’s refusal to consider proposals submitted by the Press Syndicate galvanized its opposition to the draft and, and also confirmed claims that were made by members who had previously withdrawn that their input was disregarded.
Although the role of religion in the draft has been under close scrutiny, it has proved to be only one of many contentious issues in the draft constitution. Human rights organizations lambasted the assembly when it removed an article on human trafficking and when it failed to address rights and protections for children.
In an October press conference hosted by a coalition against the current draft constitution, the president of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights Hafez Abu Saada pointed to the fact that the word “torture” is not mentioned once in the draft, an omission he saw as a travesty given the revolution’s demands.
The Strong Egypt Party, headed by former presidential candidate and ex-Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, released a 30-page report outlining its issues with numerous articles, including those addressing presidential powers.
This past Sunday, 23 human rights organizations released a statement rejecting the current draft, claiming it reflects neither Egypt’s diversity nor its revolution.
The Constituent Assembly has managed to do what Egypt’s last parliamentary and presidential elections could not. It created an opposition against the Muslim Brotherhood that becomes more united as resistance to the draft constitution mounts. Groups within the opposition prioritize their grievances differently, but they have all managed to focus primarily on reforming the constitution and the assembly that created it, at least for now.
Ideologies stood in the way of larger non-Islamist coalitions during parliamentary elections. In the run-off stage of the presidential elections, many parties either begrudgingly chose between Ahmed Shafiq and Mohamed Morsi or didn’t choose at all.
The muffling of voices in the assembly, coupled with memories of how the parliamentary majority dealt with the minority, appear to have motivated political actors to cooperate more in upcoming parliamentary elections, and to continue applying pressure on the Constituent Assembly that lies delicately between potential dissolution by court order and withdrawal of enough members to render it incapable of passing the draft.
As public pressure continues, in an attempt to reach a consensus, Al-Azhar representatives have called for a meeting between Islamist groups, the Church, and other secular representatives that withdrew from the assembly. It appears that dissenters within the assembly will now be heard after withdrawing and finding support outside the constitution-writing body.
The future of this draft is uncertain. Articles could change as a result of deliberations before the document is finalized. The assembly could be dissolved. The current draft could be Egypt’s next constitution. Regardless of the outcome, it has created a unity among many non-Islamist parties and movements that in the past were unwilling to compromise in order to defeat a common opponent.
So while George Ishaq finds the polarization in the constituent assembly “unacceptable,” given the strictly majoritarian views of democracy of the Muslim Brotherhood, such a divide might have been necessary for now.
Basil El-Dabh is a reporter for Daily News Egypt. He graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Economy.
Photo Credit: Reuters
Trackback URL for this post:
EgyptSource, a project of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, follows Egypt’s transition and provides a platform for Egyptian perspectives on the major issues – economic, political, legal, religious and human rights – that are at stake in the post-Mubarak era.
If you are interested in submitting an article for publication on EgyptSource, please send an inquiry via email with a short outline of your idea.
The views expressed in EgyptSource are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Atlantic Council, its staff, or its supporters.
Follow us on Twitter: @EgyptSource
Click here to sign up for the weekly EgyptSource newsletter.
Faces of Egypt
Journalist and videographer Abanoub Emad explains the drive behind his work: “I want to cover the truth..If it was just a job for me I wouldn't risk my life, but this is what I want to do…and this is what differentiates the quality of work. You can tell who's doing it for the sake of doing it, and who's doing it because it's what they love to do”
At twenty-two, Amr El Salanekly has won the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative fellowship, co-founded a social incubator and an educational platform for underprivileged kids, turned down a job with Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate Mohammad Yunus’ Grameen Bank, and raised hundreds of thousands of Egyptian pounds for community projects in Egypt.
Check out the rest of the Faces of the New Egypt series here.
About the Contributors
Alaa Al Aswany, the Arab world's bestselling novelist, is the author of The Yacoubian Building, Chicago, and Friendly Fire. His work is published in thirty-one languages worldwide. Read his EgyptSource posts here.
Yussef Auf is an Egyptian judge and 2012 Humphrey Fellow at American University’s Washington College of Law. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Constitutional Law and Political Systems at Cairo University. Read his EgyptSource posts here.
Amr Hamzawy joined the Department of Public Policy and Administration at the American University in Cairo in 2011, where he continues to serve today. He is a former member of parliament and a member of the National Salvation Front. Read his EgyptSource posts here.
Haitham Tabei is a special correspondent for the Washington Post and Asharq Saudi newspaper in Cairo.
Read his EgyptSource posts here.
- The Arabist
- Abu Aardvark (Marc Lynch)
- A Sense of Belonging
- Dalia Ziada
- Daniel W. Drezner
- Democracy Digest
- The Egypt Report
- Egyptian Chronicles
- Felix Arabia
- Foreign Policy Passport
- Foreign Policy Association
- Hossam El-Hamalawy
- MEI Editor’s Blog
- Middle East Post
- Middle East Progress (CAP)
- POMED Wire
- Rantings of a Sandmonkey