Reasons to Vote NO to Egypt’s Constitutional Amendments


1) I refuse to be forced to vote on a a package of amendments. I demand the right to vote yes to one amendment and no to another.

2) As almost everyone has agreed, we don’t need to amend the old constitution, we need a completely new one as there are many problematic articles aside from the ones that were amended. The amended constitution still doesn’t take away all the immense presidential authorities that Mubarak had given himself over the years.

3) The constitution represents the identity of the country and it must represent the post-revolutionary identity! When the regime was toppled the constitution was suspended, and bringing that same constitution back with some articles amended doesn’t make sense at all.

4) There should be a national committee, representing the different sectors of the population, that together draws up a new constitution in a transparent and democratic way. I have a lot of respect for Tarek el-Bishry and others on the committee, but because they are “technicians” i.e. dealing with the technical legal issues, they treated this like a technical process and not a political one, although it is necessarily political.


The two most important points:

5) According to the constitution, even after the amendments, there is no constitutional basis on which the army can assume power. This means that the army’s current role is unconstitutional. Let’s assume we all vote YES to the amendments and the constitution is accepted. What are the logical next steps? The next step is for the army to call for new presidential or parliamentary elections. Since the army is unconstitutional it has no legal right to call for elections. This places anyone we elect in a position of being declared unconstitutional in the future! Meaning that after we elect a new president, anybody could accuse that president of being unconstitutional and thus invalid.


6) In response to the argument that voting YES can give us a temporary constitution until we create a new permament one, Article 189 gives only one person the right to call for a new constitution: the president. In case he does, an Assembly of 100 members is created to oversee the creation of the new constitution. This Assembly is elected by the Parliament and Shura Council, but the article does not specify whether these 100 Assembly members are from within the two Councils or not. Here is the Arabic text:


لكل من رئيس الجمهورية و مجلس الشعب طلب تعديل مادة أو أكثر من مواد الدستور و يجب أن يذكر في طلب التعديل المواد المطلوب تعديلها و الأسباب الداعية إلى هذه التعديل فإذا كان الطلب صادرا من مجلس الشعب وجب أن يكون موقعا من ثلث أعضاء المجلس على الأقل و في جميع الأحوال يناقش المجلس مبدأ التعديل و يصدر قراره في شأنه بأغلبية أعضائه فإذا رفض الطلب لا يجوز إعادة طلب تعديل المواد ذاتها قبل مضي سنة على هذا الرفض و إذا وافق مجلس الشعب على مبدأ التعديل يناقش بعد شهرين من تاريخ الموافقة المواد المطلوب تعديلها فإذا وافق على التعديل ثلث أعضاء المجلس عرض على الشعب لاستفتائه في شأنه فإذا ووفق على التعديل اعتبر نافذا من تاريخ إعلان نتيجة الاستفتاء

و لكل من رئيس الجمهورية و بعد موافقة مجلس الوزراء و انصف أعضاء مجلسي الشعب و الشورى طلب إصدار دستور جديد و تتولى جمعية تأسيسية من مائة عضو ينتخبهم أغلبية أعضاء المجلسين غير المعينين في اجتماع مشترك إعداد مشروع الدستور في موعد غايته ستة أشهر من تاريخ تشكيلها و يعرض رئيس الجمهورية المشروع خلال خمس عشرة يوما من إعداده على الشعب لاستفتائه في شانه و يعمل بالدستور من تاريخ إعلان موافقة الشعب عليه في الاستفتاء.


Let’s assume we all vote YES and elect a new president and he refuses to call for a new constitution. What are we supposed to do? Revolt again? Or wait until his term is up and do our best to vote him out? Let’s say that he agrees to request a new constitution but the Assembly is formed entirely from with the members of the two Councils. Can we really ensure that their members will truly be representative of our desires? Can we expect to go from a completely forged Parliament to a comletely legitimate one on our first try?


These are the reasons why I insist that this constitution is completely dismissed and we form an Assembly to create a new one that is truly representative of the new Egypt, or at least the Egypt we would like to become. This is why I insha’Allah I will vote NO.



The above quote is taken from here.



March 9, 2011 - Posted by | Personal

1 Comment »

  1. […] Reasons to Vote NO to Egypt’s Constitutional Amendments http://goo.gl/20vwy […]

    Pingback by Headlines Mar 11, 2011 | Arab Revolt | الثورة العربية « Arab Revolt | الثورة العربية | March 11, 2011 | Reply

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