Cultural Differences Make Provocative Romance: “Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World”
MENA Bloggers: New Category, Same Challenges in Media Space
2013 Tanenbaum Awards Honor New York Times Bestselling Author and Activist Reza Aslan and Philanthropic Leader FJC
Dubai Designer Marina Qureshi behind Florence Welch Dress
Two Iconic Divas Live On In San Francisco
Star Trek: Into a Darkness We're Already Lost In
Today's Exclusive Columns
Mideast Arts & Culture
Dubai, a city known for its glamour, soaring skyscrapers and magnificent malls, plays host to over a thousand shopping tourists every month. The Middle East, in general, has a strong...
Last month, fashion bloggers, designers, and “it” girls from all over the world graced the front row of the 6th annual Fashion Fighting Famine fashion show, held on March 31st...
If you’ve been to your local H M store recently, you would have noticed the promotions for EDUN (http://www.edun.com) founded by Bono and his wife Ali Hewson to sustain long-term...
Ben Affleck's 2012 political thriller "Argo," about the 1979-1981 Iran hostage crisis, reached the streets of Tehran, Iran via the black market soon after its theatrical release in the US....
Though most Americans have distanced themselves from any association with the Iraq War, March 19, 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the United States-led invasion. Perhaps the occasion provides the...
- Written by Eman Jueid
- Category: World News
At this point, we are all aware of the current cataclysmic anti-climax following 15 months of revolution, protests, trials, and more protests: a choice between the proponent of a tired military apparatus that may very well be unable to meet the demands of transparency and accountability necessary for a new democratic era, and a secret religious organization who, by their own performance in Parliament over these past 6 months, seemingly doesn’t want to be so involved.
But what has relegated even this ostensibly singular moment in history to a side note is a chaotic and piecemeal legal and constitutional background which has been adding one more snafu to the pile since February 11, 2011. Some will remember the March 19th constitutional referendum that took place shortly thereafter, which called for new Parliamentary elections in November. The new Parliament, would then, in turn, elect a new constitutional assembly. Inconveniently, the declarations that were voted in failed to accurately specify how this new body would be elected. From inside of Parliament or outside? What criteria were necessary for the members of this 100-person panel? How could just one branch of government have so much control over the constitution under which it would ultimately be subject? And how reassuring is a new constitution written under military rule?
Then there’s the law that Parliament rushed through in April in order to keep both Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s former vice president, and Ahmed Shafik, his last Prime Minister, from running for President. It’s now being reviewed in Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court for constitutionality because, as the argument goes, it is based on not caring much for someone because he came from the old regime, rather than on, say, secure legal grounds that require a determination of guilt before someone can be barred from political activity. If it is ruled unconstitutional come Thursday (yes, two days before voting begins), then which of the two undesirable candidates to vote for will be the least of the country’s problems.
Following the revolution, history offered many sound examples of how to solidify a sound constitutional bedrock upon which to build a new democracy. Tunis’ record after their revolution offered a prime example. Many of Egypt’s own constitutional experts were even consulted in their process. Creating a new constitution first, before elections, was surely the best way to ensure the integrity of the rest of the country’s political transition, said many of the country’s political elite and legal experts at the time.
But both the ruling military council, in hand at the time with a Muslim Brotherhood keen to cash in on 84 years of underground struggle and above-ground organization via early elections, came to a different conclusion: they decided they were going to reinvent the wheel. In the process, they seemingly forgot that it was in fact the Egyptians who had actually invented the wheel some 5,000 years ago.
And where has all this deviation from sound legal, non-partisan, meta-political advice taken us? Where has ignoring the signs pointing to the yellow brick road lead us? Not to Oz, surely, but instead to Mohamed El-Baradei, one of those who had refused the constitutional referendum from the outset, shaking his finger at us and saying, I told you so.
To a Presidential office without defined powers, without a real constitution to swear on (there remains a debate of whether the 1971 Egyptian constitution is still the law of the land), a Parliament that can be realistically declared null and void by the end of the week, a presidential race that can disintegrate by the end of the week. And not many clues about what to do next.
Whatever the lessons learned these past 15 months, the most important lesson is staring us in the face. When it comes to the future of a nation, good beginnings make for good endings. And good beginnings are based on principles free from political calculation, on advice and expertise that have been tested and corrected through study, practice, and historical example. Whatever happens this week with the elections, surely this lesson will be seared in collective memory should the week’s events determine that, for better or worse, the only thing left to do is to start all over again.By Dahlia Rizk, Aslan Media Contributor
*Photo Credit: Jonathan Rashad
AUDIO: Will Scandals Stall Obama's Agenda?
Support our Mission with a Financial Donation Today
Donate below! Why Support Us? Click Here
Join our Book Club!
Newsletter: Stay Connected