Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Active Period of Political Debate about the Constitution

Recently, a friend of mine explained to me that before the revolution, all what people were talking about was soccer and that now, after the fall of Mubarak’s regime, politics completely are dominating the thoughts and discussions of all layers of the Egyptian society.
As a matter of fact, on the highest level, the political parties started to make propaganda either for a “yes” or a “no” to the reform of the constitution of 1971 which is still in force. The opposition parties (the Wafd, Nasserists and three others are quoted in Masri al Yom) as well as Mohamed El Baradei and his National Union for Change are encouraging their followers to vote “no”, next Saturday, when the Egyptians are asked to proceed to the ballot boxes of their districts. On the other hand, Mubarak’s National Democratic Party –in Masri al Yom quoted without the adjective “democratic” – and the Muslim Brothers promote the maintenance and amendment of the Norma Normarum.
El Baradei does not find it reasonable to perform a voting process in the middle of this politically still chaotic situation and claims for the establishment of a dialogue among the political groups in the first place. At the same time, the Muslim thinker Muhammad Salim al ‘Awa, is quoted by Masri al Yom, as inciting the “ones who truly love Egypt” to agree to a reform of the constitution. He is convinced that in the transitional period until the elections, no new Supreme Law might be passed.
The Muslim Brothers stick to their pre-revolutionary program of rejecting the possibility for Christians or women to become Egyptian presidents. 
Caricature currently exhibited in Cairo Atelier

At the same time, the network of the “Youth of the Revolution” (which consists of uncountable interlinked grass-root organizations mostly connected thorough Facebook) and the army started to rebuild the destroyed church in the village Sawl –the destruction of which had been one of the main causes for the demonstrations in front of the “Maspiro” television tower. The Copts also declared that they do not wish to establish a Christian political party and that they plead for a secular state instead.
It is quite striking to see the Muslim Brothers “ally” with the National Democratic Party as far as the voting on the constitution is concerned. One wonders whether they were not maintaining a certain kind of dialectical dynamic with the regime which has been overthrown by the revolution of the 25th of January. Even though, from time to time arrested by Mubarak’s secrete services, Muslim Brothers were already represented in the Parliament longtime before the revolution. They also joined the demonstrations quite late and still seem to wait and see for further developments before taking a clear position.
A more unmistakable message is transferred by the Islamists who are released from prison. They are convinced about the feasibility and necessity of the foundation of an Islamic state in the sense of the caliphate.