Egypt In The Process Of Constitution Referendum
Egypt In The Process Of Constitution Referendum
Egypt is undoubtedly the most important stop in the process known as ‘Arab Spring’… Egypt is crucially important both at regional and global level, not only in terms of its history and effects on Arab and Islamic world but also of its geopolitical and geostrategic importance. Following the happenings in Tunisia hundreds of thousands of people varying in their views had packed Tahrir Square in Cairo; protests had resulted in the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 11 February 2011 and a new era had started which was unpredictable about what it would yield to Egypt. 
Parliamentary and presidential elections following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak had the feature of being first elections which were realized in a democratic environment. Freedom and Justice Party of Muslim Brotherhood won parliamentary elections while Mohamed Morsi, also the candidate of Muslim Brotherhood, won presidential runoff.  In the parliamentary elections which were held in three rounds between November 2011 and January 2012 Freedom and Justice Party reveived about 40% of votes while Salafi Al-Nour Party won about 30%. Freedom and Justice Party candidate Mohamed Morsi who won first round by 25% of votes won by 51.7% over his rival Ahmed Shafik and became president. 
However dictatorship circles ruling for years did not want to leave administration to Morsi and the parliament that came to power in accordance with people’s will in Egypt; thereby Egypt had entered a dangerous path. It is not known what this situation that brought the status quo against new cadres as well as Egyptian people bring about and how long this instability would last. This situation renders more valuable the approach which is to take “Arab Spring” into consideration in a more critical manner. In this regard Yusuf Kaplan says:
“(…) the thing that was experienced was not an independence wave, but a strong endeavor to deceive and be deceived. When I defined this situation as “history’s being accelerated” in Arab world, it was not understood well. 
(…) 'History’s being accelerated' is that: If Arab world would have been left alone, it would have thrown all dictatorship to trash bin of history within the next quarter Egypt is undoubtedly the most important stop in the process known as ‘Arab Spring’… Egypt is crucially important both at regional and global level, not only in terms of its history and effects on Arab and Islamic world but also of its geopolitical and geostrategic importance. Following the happenings in Tunisia hundreds of thousands of people varying in their views had packed Tahrir Square in Cairo; protests had resulted in the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 11 February 2011 and a new era had started which was unpredictable about what it would yield to Egypt. 
Parliamentary and presidential elections following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak had the feature of being first elections which were realized in a democratic environment. Freedom and Justice Party of Muslim Brotherhood won parliamentary elections while Mohamed Morsi, also the candidate of Muslim Brotherhood, won presidential runoff.  In the parliamentary elections which were held in three rounds between November 2011 and January 2012 Freedom and Justice Party reveived about 40% of votes while Salafi Al-Nour Party won about 30%. Freedom and Justice Party candidate Mohamed Morsi who won first round by 25% of votes won by 51.7% over his rival Ahmed Shafik and became president. 
However dictatorship circles ruling for years did not want to leave administration to Morsi and the parliament that came to power in accordance with people’s will in Egypt; thereby Egypt had entered a dangerous path. It is not known what this situation that brought the status quo against new cadres as well as Egyptian people bring about and how long this instability would last. This situation renders more valuable the approach which is to take “Arab Spring” into consideration in a more critical manner. In this regard Yusuf Kaplan says:
“(…) the thing that was experienced was not an independence wave, but a strong endeavor to deceive and be deceived. When I defined this situation as “history’s being accelerated” in Arab world, it was not understood well. 
(…) 'History’s being accelerated' is that: If Arab world would have been left alone, it would have thrown all dictatorship to trash bin of history within the next quarter
by virtue of its own dynamics. It is because western rule in the Middle East which was lasting for at least hundred years bestowed only blood, tears and a huge body of multiple problems. It was impossible this would go on as such. Socialist and nationalist projects had ended up in the Middle East. During the post-colonialist period, West-deployed satellite elites in the Middle East lost their legitimacy in the Middle East which was weak enough to protect interests of the West. 
This period would have ended up with that Islamic movements, in all parts of Arab world, came to be the strongest intellectual, political, cultural and social movements and reached to a level capable of determine the fate of Arab world. At this very moment, culturally accelerated history since 1989 was accelerated politically as well. Button was pressed in Arab world finally: Arab world was suddenly engulfed in an upheaval and poured into streets as flocks.  
(…) The process of hsitory’s being accelerated was started with the end of Cold War in 1989 and accelerated after 2001 conspiracy.”
Higher Military Council declared to limit presidential power upon anticipated win of Mohamed Morsi while voting for second round had not even ended. In line with this, legislative prerogative passed onto generals’ hands. “Post-revolutionary parliament”, composed of elected MPs by the public, had already been abolished by the Supreme Court just before the elections. Inaugurating in 30 June 2012, Morsi cancelled the aforementioned termination decision within about one month, he dismissed General Tantawi, Head of Higher Military Council and acknowledged the election results and the parliament; however, channels under control of the status quo did not behave idly during this process. 
After a short while Morsi took decisions excluding the Higher Military Council from politics. Overtaking legislative prerogative from the Higher Military Council Morsi dismissed Abdal Majid Mahmod, the Attorney General, from his office and appointed to the Embassy of Vatikan.
While these happening, first committee working on preparing a new constitution was abolished by the administrative court and second committee made it ready for the public completing their work at the beginning of November. While the constitutional referendum was expected to be held within one month, the judiciary attempted once again to cancel the second committee. Was put on the agenda of some Egyptian people a question that “Does a new dictator emerge?” after Morsi took the authority from the Constitutional Court, gave it to the Presidency in the case of abolition of Shura Council and decided that presidential decisions could not be cancelled.  Even if Morsi declared to hand over these prerogatives after the period of referendum, opponents had strongly criticized that prerogatives be gathered in the hands of President Morsi by a snap decision after long years Mubarak’s hold. As a consequence, Morsi cancelled the decree entitling aforementioned prerogatives to himself by a dialogue meeting that was held in 9 December. 
These happenings in Egypt bears significant similarities with the events in Turkey experienced 15 years ago, during February 28 process. Some connections can be established between enforcements of today’s status quo in Egypt and bureaucratic implementations of February 28 post modern coup d’état when oppressive practices of status quo peaked due to democratic demands of the public and long years military-judiciary tutelage lost its legitimacy in the eye of people. On the other hand, happenings between proponents and opponents of new constitution in Egypt during the process of constitution referendum also bear resemblance to the process preceding September 12, 2010 Referendum in Turkey. There are some examples for today’s situation in Egypt in the democratization process in Turkey which lasted for years and still continues, in what phases it went through and how it took steps in order to have the public relieve against military-judiciary tutelage. 
This report have been prepared by UHIM in the light of observations, findings and interview notes of our committee to have been in Egypt in December 2012 in order to investigate the happenings on site. It aims at understanding the happenings correctly and developing solution suggestions as regards the process. We have to support with our experiences and suggestions newly emerging political formations both in Egypt and other countries over different regions so that political and social support given in our country to the process called as “Arab Spring” becomes permanent and meaningful. From the very beginning UHIM has been carrying its activities related to the region with an endeavor to well understand the process and it will also continue with an understanding that provides positive contribution for Egypt in its future exams. We hope that with such an understanding society, nongovernmental institutions and political authorities also continue to pay attention to Egypt and regional countries having entered into a radical process of change with “Arab Spring”.
Record Date : 26 - 1 - 2013
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