Today is different. Today I feel free. I can smell the breeze of freedom. I have never felt safe in my country as I did today, 19 March 2011. I went to cast my vote with no worries. I was more impressed by my proud countrymen. You know what was different today; people were walking down the streets and driving their cars with a big smile on their faces. It was the smile of freedom. I will share with you the story. This is also my wife’s birthday.
There had been some changes to few of the constitution articles. A very quick summary:
president will be elected for 2 periods only, each for 4 years.
President and parliament must appoint a committee of 100 people to draft a new constitution. This committee must present the new constitution in a period of 6 months.
President should be born of Egyptian parents. He must be carrying Egyptian nationality ONLY. And his/her spouse must be Egyptian.
Referendums & elections will be supervised by judges rather than police officers as was the case before.
The above were the main amendments subject to the national referendum of 19 march 2011.
It was either YES or NO. I was one of the few who voted No.
There had been a lot of speculations and confusions before the referendum. The Army, which is the supreme power in Egypt now, did not really announce clearly the consequences of YES result or NO result. So we were left to speculations.
I voted NO, as well as other 4 million people, because of the fear of 1971 constitution coming to power. You must be saying, huh????
The Fear: YES means we agree to the amendments, which are great by the way, but it revives back the constitution of 1971, which was one of the reasons of 25 JAN revolution. That constitution had given the president absolute power. So, we will agree to 2 terms only, each of 4 years, but with absolute presidential powers.
The Defense: NO, as I thought, will not allow a new dictator to be created. Most of us, NO PEOPLE, wanted a whole new constitution or at least amendments to the president power. Constitution of 1971 gave the power to do it all. You name, he was able to do it, including firing the whole parliament. So who would tell him that he was a naughty boy????
Now, turns out the army was preparing a little surprise for us. The constitution of 1971 is no longer active. So the amended articles will be part of a temporary constitution that will regulate life form now till the parliament elections in October.
We are still waiting for the mini constitution to be announced. The army seems to be struggling with this one. Well, I cannot really blame, the guys suddenly became overlords of Egypt and in charge of lots of directing the country into growth, what a task!
Well everyone, have a great week and life….
See you soon.