Mallat in Ahram: The day after: A constitutional roadmap for Egypt

25/06/2012

The Electoral Commission’s announcement of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mursi as president elect has staved off a full-scale counter-revolution. How Egyptian political forces build on this is crucial for the whole region

Last month Egypt saw the full blooming of the counterrevolution. Rolling back the spirit of early 2011 Tahrir took the shape of a stream of counter-revolutionary measures – the military group known as SCAF self-enhancing its role further with another arbitrary ‘constitutional declaration’, augmented by an ‘annex’, the criminal court in Cairo exonerating Mubarak’s chief security men and sons, the Supreme Constitutional Court’s dismissing a freely elected Parliament and allowing the Prime Minister of the old regime to run for the presidency.

It looked like the nonviolent Nile Revolution was over.

The process was halted yesterday when the Supreme Presidential Elections Committee |(SPEC)| decalared for the Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) candidate, Dr Mohamed Mursi. Any other outcome would have driven Egypt closer to civil war, notwithstanding announcements by Khairat El-Shater, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, that their opposition to authoritarianism would remain nonviolent.

Can the Revolution build on this respite?

Egypt, like the rest of the region, is at the beginning of a long road. The key to preserving the spirit of the Nile Revolution is to work with the largest front comprising the fullest possible spectrum of its revolutionary forces.

The next step in this spirit is for the president to appoint a comprehensive cabinet that includes a prime minister and a majority of participants from the non-religious sector of the revolution: women, youth representatives, liberal traditionalists, the democratic left, and a significant number of Christian leaders – for instance those who showed the way to the revolution in 2005 inside the original Kefaya movement. SCAF has dramatically hemmed in democracy, and their exit from political domination must be completed as they themselves promised time and again. A concession may be considered for military representation in the cabinet, perhaps for the portfolio of defense and the military industries, which should not be lightly dismantled because of the reliance of thousands of families on a poorly conceived, but long-established safety net.

(Full article)

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