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Sunday, December 9, 2012

After National Dialog Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy issued new Constituent Declaration amid ongoing clashes

Mohamed Morsy, Egypt's President

After Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy has issued on 22 November his controversial Constitutional Declaration which made his decisions actually immune from any challenges even by the Court and the draft of the future Constitution has been put by him on the national referendum scheduled for 15 December the massive protests started in Egypt against such a dictatorial decisions and unrepresentative Constitution.

President Morsy issued a few statements calling the state’s oppositional powers and political figures for the negotiations to find the way out of the current political crisis in the country, but the oppositional forces refused to take part in any talks until the presidential decree will be cancelled and the referendum will be cancelled too, as the draft of the Constitution doesn’t represent all the citizens of Egypt and doesn’t protect the goals of the Revolution.



The massive protests have been held by anti-Morsy protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and in front of the Presidential Palace, and also in other Egyptian governorates. Later the violent clashes erupted when the supporters of Morsy and Muslim Brotherhood decided to hold their demonstration in the same place occupied by anti-Morsy protesters. The violence left several deaths and hundreds of injured, the military and CSF presence is increased, and there are also fears about the possibility of the escalation of the conflict.

Amid the ongoing demonstrations and clashes Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy called for the emergency meeting to discuss the current crisis. All the political powers of Egypt were invited to participate, according to the official Presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali.

Massive demonstrations in Egypt against the Constitutional
Declaration and the draft of the Constitution
The meeting took place on Saturday, Morsy attended the meeting briefly, his Vice President Mahmoud Mekki was also presented. Nearly 40 political figures, representatives of different political powers and intellectuals, have also attended the meeting.

Among those who have attended the meeting were Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, former presidential candidate with the Islamist background Mohamed Selim El-Awwa, Ayman Nour, founder of Ghad Al-Tawra Party, Emad El-Din, Abdel-Gafour, the cairman of Salafist Al-Nour Party, the leaders of moderate Islamists and several intellectuals and prominent figures.

But the majority of the oppositional forces has ignored the meeting and didn’t show up. The representatives of the recently established by Mohamed El Baradei, Hamdeen Sabbahy and Amr Moussa National Salvation Front didn’t attend the meeting too as they don’t accept either the controversial presidential decree or the possibility of the referendum on such an undemocratic and representative Constitution which is considered being established serving the interests of some political forces and some factions of Egypt’s society only.

After the meeting was held the President declared that the 22 November Constitutional Declaration will be cancelled in order to fulfill some of the demands of the protesters, but the national referendum on the constitutional draft will be held as scheduled, on 15 December. The vote for the Egyptian expats was postponed, but the referendum should take place. According to the statement of Mohamed Selim El-Awwa, ex-presidential candidate, who was responsible for revealing the results of the Saturday’s National Dialog, Mohamed Morsy cannot cancel the referendum on the Constitution, as it will violate the previous Constitutional Declaration issued by then-ruling SCAF (Supreme Counsil of the Armed Forces) which stipulates that the referendum on the Constitution should be held within 15 days after the state’s President will receive the draft of the Constitution from the Constituent Assembly.

Egyptians protesting
The new Constitutional Declaration was issued as a result of the National Dialog meeting, and this Constitutional Declaration replaces the controversial 22 November decree. But despite the demands of the opposition this new decree doesn’t meet a lot of the oppositional demands, such as cancelling of the referendum, for example.

The new Constitutional Declaration also grants the judicial immunity to all the Constitutional Declarations and keeps the article regarding the sacking of Egypt’s Prosecutor General. It also keeps the article about the new investigations and retrial of the previous regime figures and those responsible for killing and injuring the peaceful protesters during January 25 Revolution and the following transitional period (till 30 June 2012), in case the new evidences will appear.

According to the new Constitutional Declaration issued on 9 December 1012 the previous 22 November presidential decree is void since 9 December, but all its consequences should remain in effect.

The national referendum on the Constitutional draft would be held as planned, and if the majority of people will vote for this draft, the work on the forming of the new authorities I order to achieve stability in the country will start. If the majority of the citizens will vote against the draft, the President will call for the direct elections of the new Constituent Assembly which will be tasked to work on the new draft of the Constitution and should present the new draft within six months. After the draft will be finalized and the President will receive it he would set the date for the national referendum within 30 days after receiving the draft from the Assembly.

The new Constitutional Declaration and all the previous ones remain immune from any challenges, even by the judicial bodies.

The oppositional forces which didn’t attend the National Dialog meeting were not optimistic about the new Constitutional Declaration, as it actually keeps unchanged the main and the most controversial articles of the previous decree and doesn’t meet all the demands issued by the opposition.

The protests still continue in the country despite the issuing of the new Constitutional Declaration aimed to calm the protests.