A turbulent spring
Egypt will have its newly elected president on June 21. Egyptians are expected to experience a very turbulent spring in the lead up. Much like the weather, the political scene is confused and unstable.
If the performance of the much-awaited Parliament is any indication, the presidency should not be expected to be any better. The continuous reduction of democracy and democratic practice to the ballots in the boxes to institute the powers of governance undermines the basic foundations of a just and lawful rule by delegation.
Much to the frustration of the voters, the daily televised Parliament sessions portray an almost complete loss for attending to the more substantial current issues and an apparent lack of ability to debate, a seemingly lack of will to exercise its powers of regulating or to take prompt decisive actions to respond to the demands of the revolution. The disappointment has already had its effect on the elections of the “Shura” council that has gone almost unnoticed. With all eyes fixed on the expanding list of potential candidates, another more substantial pillar for real democratic rule with more lasting impact on Egypt will hopefully not go unnoticed. In the next 10 days alone, three days of impact on this spring process should be keenly observed. Saturday will mark the first meeting of both legislative houses to kick start the production of Egypt’s new constitution.
Since March 2011, the much-contested path to democracy has been struggling with the issue of the supremacy of the constitution over the legislative or the executive. One whole year later and much blood, anger, frustration and political fighting in between, the issue has been recalled.
Obviously there is a Parliament in place, and according to the temporary constitutional decree, they are entrusted with the chore of selecting a committee of 100 Egyptians who will attend to the creating of the constitution. Regardless of which president or even what Parliament, it is the constitution that should institute the set values of ruling the nation. As the dusty winds of Khamasin rise over Egypt, so does the cloudiness of a year-long political power struggle near its moment of truth. This is a critical moment for the revolution and for the future of Egypt and Egyptians. A constitution that falls short of the demands of the revolution for freedom, dignity and justice for all Egyptians will be contested severely.
March 9, a day before the candidacy for the office of president of Egypt begins, is a Friday and the people power is being mobilized to safeguard an acceptable process and in some minds to recreate the revolution if need be. On the other hand, major initiatives for collaboration and alternative political forms are heavily underway. This spring will certainly be turbulent.
As opposed to the released schedules for the election of the president, the schedule of delivering a constitution for a referendum by the people of Egypt is yet to become known. Much will depend on when Egyptians will have their approved constitution.