Egypt as a model for constitutional amendments [Archives:2007/1039/Opinion]

April 5 2007

Nasr Taha Mustafa
As expected, via a majority of up to 75 percent, Egyptians agreed on and approved by referendum last Monday constitutional amendments proposed by President Hosni Mubarak and Parliament.

In light of the modest popular vote, it wasn't the opposition that was successful in convincing citizens to boycott the referendum; rather, it was because the whole matter wasn't of great importance to the average citizen, as the amendments focused mainly on political aspects, which don't mean much, as to win the required majority, which considers that ordinary citizens don't need to minus gone to a vote.

Not for a constitutional remain on the rigidity in the fashion of political reforms in the region, especially after the Commission adopted policies in the ruling National Democratic Party headed by President Mubarak's son since the 1980s, but the frequency long since has been in a constitutional amendments Perhaps the reason is the concern lack of control after a long period of inaction, and the Egyptian official categorically clear to all Western pressures in general and the United States in particular, which began since then a number of Arab countries, with Egypt, to carry out political reforms, as the Americans in that period very enthusiastic about it at the time didn't President Mubarak wants to enter into a dispute over the constitutional amendments that are according to the U.S. vision, regardless of the vision of the same provision in Egypt toward … It also appears to have been postponed until the fall amendments U.S. enthusiasm is what has happened already, as announced by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a couple of years ago in Cairo that the political reforms must take into account the circumstances of each Arab country separately, which was not announced last week, but expressed concern timid on the constitutional amendments in the Egypt kind of the performance of duty, it seems to Egyptian opposition.

President Mubarak did not want to complete the amendments before the presidential elections that took place in 2005, but he wanted to accomplish after part of the process of fulfilling the promises contained in the election of its political platform, and today the amendments become a reality after the referendum despite the opposition's rejection of the Egyptian forces all have, the fact that the regime in Egypt well aware that the impact of traditional opposition is non-existent in the Egyptian street and that the only party that has a reasonable degree of influence are the Muslim Brotherhood who are legitimate and realistic, not legal, they boycott of the referendum provided the service of the system even if Iqsidoha. On the one hand, and on the other hand they wanted to emphasize their message to the permanent rule that they do not wish to enter him in any form of confrontation Whatever strained relationship between the two, even though they brunt of the constitutional provisions regarding the conditions for new candidates for the presidency, as confirmed by other opposition parties, both leftist and liberal only they were well aware of that makes the Chair does not fall within the priorities at the current stage … The rest of the opposition parties that if they have the required legal recognition but it does not have, in fact, little chance of winning that competition seriously engaged in any presidential elections coming, or even deputies.

It is clear that the recent constitutional amendments prepared carefully tailored to the circumstances which finds power in Egypt he can overcome or skip it at the present time, adjustments may not be Arzt mood of a large segment of intellectuals who belong bias, just as it does not satisfy the mood of the opposition and some parties in the international community can only government can not risk may allow amendments to the handover day of the opposition, and the fact that the prospects for the Muslim Brotherhood hegemony over the street actually in the event of the easing of restrictions and controls on the constitutional political life is a matter of concern to all parties in Egypt, any government and the opposition leftist and liberal and independent intellectuals and the international community as You can not risk the fall of governance in a country such as Egypt, however, the Muslim Brotherhood is a red line with all those parties which are that the fire regulations is better than the current Muslim Brotherhood. Certainly, this type of risk, which is making the United States ease pressure on the Arab countries on the reforms and make them understand the need for these regulations to manage the process of political reforms, some careful while continuing to put pressure on these regimes towards the completion of further economic and judicial reforms and the fight against corruption and the promotion of freedom press and media from the viewpoint that this kind of reforms in doubt contribute to extend the life of existing systems and reduce the existing tension in the Arab street and contribute in keeping the Islamists from power. That may be true to a large extent.

Nasr Taha Mustafa is the Director of Saba News Agency and the General Secretary of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate.