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December 8, 2012

Egyptian President Morsi plans to amend controversial decree

  • then Freshly-elected Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, in a move that inflamed massive protest and civil unrest throughout his state, issued a decree affording himself complete extralegal authority, pending a new constitution. The drafting of the constitutional proposal in subsequent days was carried out by a largely Islamist committee, which drew criticism for the removal of secular and Christian opposition from the body before it approved the draft.
  • now After the weeks of intense opposition, which has even spilled into violence, Morsi is planning to amend his initial decree — as clear a sign as any that he views the opposition’s backlash as a major, and perhaps unsustainable political risk. The Prime Minister, Hisham Qandil, told Egyptian television that the amended decree could be released by tomorrow, and that Morsi is open to talks with the opposition on postponing a December 15th vote scheduled on that controversial constitution draft. source 
17:44 // 1 year ago
March 21, 2011

More on Egypt’s recently-passed constitutional referendum

Oh yeah, that: With all the chaos in Libya and Japan, there hasn’t been much attention paid to what’s happened in Egypt in the wake of President Hosni Mubarak’s ousting. So, here’s the skinny: Over the weekend, the country voted on a referendum containing substantial changes to the country’s Constitution. Both of the country’s two major political parties, the National Democratic Party and the Muslim Brotherhood, supported the changes, which passed with 77% of the vote. Now, it has to pass a parliamentary vote, which could come as early as September. But what was actually in it, and how is it playing out in Egypt?

  • Limits on the Presidency In addition to reducing the length of presidential terms from six years to four, the new Constitution, if adopted, will instate a two-term limit for future presidents (Mubarak led for thirty years). Also, it requires the President to select a deputy within thirty days of assuming office, and bars anybody under 40 from running for President.
  • High Voter TurnoutBack in the Mubarak days, many Egyptians thought leaders rigged the elections, so there wasn’t much of an impetus to vote. This time, 41% — or 18 million people — came out to vote. Not staggeringly high, for sure, but nothing to sneeze at, either. If anything, this turnout bodes well for the prospects of a democratic Egypt.
  • Mixed Reactions Some pro-democracy groups are upset that the reforms didn’t go far enough. Activists claim the changes will benefit the two major parties, and some want to tear up the constitution and start over. Perhaps. Even so, the referendum’s passage seems — tentatively — like a good step towards rebuilding the country. source

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23:50 // 3 years ago