Voting NO to the constitutional amendments doesn’t mean we trust the army!

by Maha Al Aswad

I came across this blog post about the constitutional amendments.  The blogger, Amin Elmasry, says:

Most Egyptians, regardless of their political affiliations seem to agree on the need for a new constitution that restores freedoms and build strong institutions for a free and democratic Egypt. We have not discussed the details yet, and the devil is in the details; however, there seems to be a consensus on the need for a completely new constitution – the current disagreement is how do we get there.

There are two paths towards this new constitution: one goes through a hastily elected parliament, and the second goes through the Army. In reality, this is the essence of this referendum: a YES vote, implies that people trust an elected parliament to be mandated with writing the new constitution; a NO vote implies that they trust the army to manage the process. It is ironic that the balance is tipping towards the army! The argument is that a new parliament will be dominated with the Muslim Brothers along with the remnants of the NDP, and the army seems much more credible and trustworthy at this critical juncture.

I have to disagree. Voting NO doesn’t mean that we trust the army to take over the process. On the contrary, it means that we need time to elect a parliament that is truly representative of the Egyptian people without the least chance of rigging or inefficiency in the electoral process.

It means that the Egyptian people need time, need this transitional period to organize themselves in new political parties that reflect their views and guarantee diversity. If after this, Muslim Brotherhood and NDP supporters managed to get to parliament and constitute a majority, then okay! it is democracy after all! But having parliamentary elections now won’t make it a fair game!

It means that the Egyptian people truly WANT TO WRITE THEIR CONSTITUTION, through electing directly the committee drafting the constitution, in a one step representation ,rather than two steps by electing MPs who will then elect/choose the drafting committee in best cases scenario OR form the committee from MPs themselves (!!).

It means we need true democratic steps, slow but clean and credible, to guarantee the true fulfillment of the revolution demands!

Vote NO to the constitutional amendments!