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Egypt In Transition: Women’s Movement On Crossroads

I was humbled by an invitation from Socialist International Women to be their keynote speaker in their regional meeting in Rabat, Morocco, September 30, 2011- as an Egyptian blogger.

The theme of the meeting was “The Role of Arab Women in Emerging Democracies”.

This is the speech I delivered during the meeting earlier today.

“ In Tahrir square, I felt for the first time that women are equal to men” . These were words of Nawal El Saadawi, the famous Egyptian feminist who spent her entire life struggling for gender equality in Egypt.
The fact that we all felt that way in Tahrir. Tahrir was a large space that gathered a diversity of people of different intellectual, social and political affiliations, not only linked together for the sake of single goal, but there was this kind of  tolerance and the sense of acceptance of the different other.

But it was not only in Tahrir for young Egyptian women who decided long before the revolution to participate in small demonstrations calling to end injustices and corruption. For us to talk about lack of equality was absurd because we always had the feeling we have already achieved it by taking to streets and calling for freedom to all Egyptians. We were surrounded by the same police cordons as men, we were exposed to the same humiliation and degradation from the police and the chances of kidnapping and torturing us by state security agents were equal. We have liberated ourselves and conquered fear and therefore we are free. The sense of freedom is internally formed inside you, no one can take that from you, even if you are surrounded by a million walls. Many of Egyptian women who decided for the first time to participate in the demonstrations on 25 January or later in Tahrir, definitely had the same feeling of self-liberation.

The announced locations for gathering and starting the marches on January 25th were the main squares and in front of big mosques and churches. But in fact, that marches began earlier from places security wouldn’t have imagined. This was intentional so as not to disburse marches from the very beginning. Groups of 200-300 activists headed to various locations in Cairo and Giza and other governorates, in the middle of the crowded urban slums and neighborhoods. At a certain point we all started chanting against the regime. As we were marching in Nahya street among the crowd and in the middle  of all the shouting that fill the throats, I looked around  to find more than half of the group are young Egyptian females, veiled and not veiled, coming forward and leading the chants.  Along the march, which was one of hundreds across Egypt, we managed to escape all of the police attempts of preventing and stopping us. Hundreds then thousands of people joined us, which was the main aim of the march.  I get the shivers whenever I remember that day. In Tahrir,  women had the same roles played by men with no exceptions. Doctors in the field hospitals, members of the committees for inspection  and the popular committees responsible for security and protection of Tahrir. Even in times when thugs and Mubarak cronies attacked Tahrir, we were in the front-line ready to die for freedom.
I always like to tell an incident that happened to me personally in Tahrir square. I went to a Mosque in Tahrir to use the toilet in the Social occasions room attached to it. I found a long queue of ladies who were wearing Hijab, talking to each others in groups while waiting their turn. I heard a lady then reminding everyone about the “silent march” planned later that day in Tahrir only for women.  She further explained that it is silent because women shouldn’t be talking or shouting ( from an Islamic point of view) and that they will write everything they want to say on banners and signs and carry them along. I stood there in surprise, feeling I shouldn’t interfere, being totally alien to the scene, with my uncovered hair and my tights. I hoped that a lady with a Hijab would interfere, because if I did, I won’t have the same credibility she would have.  This is exactly what happened. Suddenly another lady who is wearing Hijab interfered, she had a less conservative kind of Hijab, and it was very clear she is a working lady. She wondered in surprise why should the march be silent?!  Others were mumbling sentences like “because of the men around—our voice is weak”. Then the lady that suggested the silent march replied that we can walk behind any man and chant behind him, not to lead the chants. That is when things became more interesting. The objecting lady said that if any lady volunteered to lead the chants everyone would chant along including men! The first lady was silent and gave the look of having nothing more to say and that she kind of agrees, so did other mumbling ladies.
That day was a turning point for me.  I am an Egyptian that despises the veil and sees it as the cause and not just a manifestation of the oppression of women in my country.  That day kind of shook the stereotype image I have about veiled women in my country, I guess exactly as western media which was surprised by this staggering amount of women in Tahrir and other squares of the revolution. It does not matter your educational and cultural background , What matters is how you see yourself as a human being in this life and what you are capable of doing.
Traditional roles for women?  Never occurred to me that term throughout the first 18 days of the revolution. Consciously or unconsciously, women did not see themselves as different from men. This is the key to the puzzle. If women want equality, they must deal as equal and strive to take spaces in the public sphere as men. Women should never remain isolated  from the political context in the country. We are part of society and we remain regarded as such until we choose to isolate ourselves.

The Egyptian feminist/ women’s rights movement managed to gain much under the former regime, the unilateral divorce, significant reforms in personal status law and freedom of movement without the permission of a guardian, and others. But that was before the revolution. The Movement was reformist in nature. But now in a state of revolution that we live, the movement should not be separated from the changes that occur around. It is a must now that the movement chooses a revolutionary route.
Some women’s groups called for a one million woman march on the international women’s day March 8th to call for women’s rights after the revolution. I was an extreme opponent of the idea. I felt that we will lose ground on that day that could end all that we got from the over the previous days.

I remember quite well the demands as were written on the home page of the event (on facebook): this day serves as “a reminder of the role of women in the revolution.”  Of course among other demands like calling for an article against gender-based discrimination in the constitution. But I stopped for long at this sentence. Who needs a reminder? The whole world witnessed that the Egyptian revolution was not gendered. Women participated in everything, played all the roles as Egyptian citizens. Why go back to isolating ourselves. Why do we isolate ourselves from the public sphere, which we had long fought a lot for joining?
Note that in March the revolution was still intense, Egyptians gathered every Friday in Tahrir square  for other demands of the revolution. It is true that Mubarak stepped down but his cronies were still in power. In March, Mubarak was still having fun in his palace in Sharm Al Shiekh. We were few days before the referendum on constitutional amendments proposed by the military, which was rejected by almost all civil forces, including women’s groups. It was unfortunately passed because of Islamists mobilization.

I would have been happy if women’s groups announced their participation in the million people marches, as pressure groups, to reject constitutional amendments, or claim any of the demands of the revolution. Of course members of these groups were participating  individually, but when they decided to be presented to the public as a unified bloc was on March 8th to demand only – women’s rights. To remind the public that women participated in the revolution and now it is the time for the society to pay back! As if women participated only for some political wins. I was literally heartbroken  at the time. I felt we were betraying the souls of over 300 hundred female martyrs of the revolution.
Of course we all know what happened that day. Unfortunately, the ability of these groups to mobilize the public was very poor, because of the same old mentality of segregating ourselves. They didn’t think of approaching any emerging political parties or youth coalitions to participate with them in the women march. On that day there weren’t more than a thousand protester, including photographers and journalists. It was a grave mistake. We just can’t follow  the same approach that was going before the revolution. Calling for equality is an indisputable right, but the integration of the Egyptian feminist movements with other political and human rights groups is important. To sit at one table with all political forces to talk about Egypt in transition and  in a broader  and more comprehensive aspect than the rights of women only is very important. It is not us against everybody, but it is us with everybody, we are part of this society and we have to negotiate, give and take and show power. This is a Phase of revolutionary struggle for the rights of all Egyptians and it is still going on.

After the fall of Mubarak, there was a clear marginalization of women, started with the selection of the committee to amend the Constitution without a single woman. Constitutional amendments that came with an outrageous article that includes the criteria to run for presidency.  According to the article,  the candidate must be male, as he must not be married to a foreign “wife”- not spouse. They fixed it later – in the Constitutional Declaration – to be gender sensitive.  But even so, this reflects what is in the public collective consciousness  about women anticipated role in society and that the president can never possibly be a woman. This is what we must acknowledge then start the critical discussion about.

A similar tragedy is found in the newly issued People’s Assembly Law which stipulates that Egyptians with ONLY an Egyptian father should run for parliamentary elections. Egyptian women gained few years ago the right to pass their nationality to their sons even when married to a foreign father. Yet, the famous patriarchal mind set refuse to consider those granted nationality from their Egyptian mothers enough citizens to run for elections in their country.
YES there is marginalized. Who is taking over the transitional phase in Egypt? Who chose members if the Committee amending the Constitution? The military.

Now our enemy is one. Since the military took over power in Egypt, they do not let anyone, let it be a man or woman to participate in the decision making in the transitional phase. The first decree-law issued by the military after they took over power was the criminalization of protests and sit-ins in a serious crackdown on freedoms – the same old ways which the revolution had erupted to end.

It is certain that the transitional period was run by civil body, everything could have been different. Speaking  to civilian authority is always easier and more logic than speaking  with the military who derive their legitimacy from force and tools of war.

In the March 19th referendum, Egyptians voted on 6 articles- only to find the military, few days later, issuing a constitutional declaration of 62 articles we knew nothing about. The declaration Gives the ruling military council (SCAF) more powers than those which were granted to the president under the 1971 constitution.

They also passed a constitutional amendment to their own constitutional declaration  few days ago without bothering informing the public. Laws governing elections and political rights were issued by them without consulting anyone. Now political and civil powers are threatening to boycott the upcoming elections if the proportional list system wasn’t applied 100%.

This comes amidst a severe crackdown on freedoms that includes confiscating newspapers, summoning journalists to the military prosecutor, forcibly disbursing protests and of course the worse of all: conducting virginity tests to female revolutionaries to humiliate them.

12, 000 Egyptian civilians were prosecuted before military courts since January.
Personally, I considered it something totally immoral and against all my principles to ask the military for anything. All I want at this stage is for them to leave immediately and hand over power to civilians at the earliest opportunity.
Egypt is now full of strikes and protests by workers, doctors, engineers teachers, students, university staff and others. I am  very proud of the situation of the revolutionary struggle that continues throughout Egypt, but it saddens me that they do not demand immediate withdrawal of the military, but limited to the claims of economic, such as minimum and maximum wage, and in the best cases, demanding the exclusion of the former regime from positions of leadership after the revolution.
I spoke with a friend from the Egyptian Revolutionary Socialists, who is involved with the strikes, about my concerns. He had a genius answer: Strikers in all parts of Egypt now know about the marriage between the businessmen and the military, and that the status quo cannot be changed unless the military withdrew not only from political life, but also all aspect of the economy.  All roads lead to Rome, I so discovered.

The role of the women movement in this historical moment is to join the revolutionary movement that does not calm down or sleep. There are two kinds of movements right now from my point of view:

The first is the movement that calls directly for the departure of the military and reveal violations of human rights they committed, like [no to military trials for civilians group], which is struggling to stop the military trials for civilians – and similar groups.

The second is the labor rights and strikes movement led by independent trade unions.

Rights demanded by women in Egypt at the end are political rights and not based on gender. Building  grass root support comes from the integration of Egyptian women’s movement in different sectors demanding  their rights in this historical moment. This is normal since those who strike are both men and women and those subjected to military trials are men and women.

I read a report recently that  there were 4 independent trade unions/syndicates before the revolution, but now the number reached  88 independent trade union with 250 000 members. 50% of the membership of these unions are women. This is the opportunity for the Egyptian feminist movement to support them and their just demands. The transfer of those demands to those of a political nature is a burden falls on the women’s movement and civil groups, which unfortunately left most of the revolutionary struggle for the sake of elections.

Today September 30th, is officially the date when the state of emergency should end.  It is also the last day of the transitional period identified in the constitutional declaration. Unfortunately few days ago, SCAF extended the state of emergency until June 2012- which is by the way against the constitutional declaration they themselves wrote.

In a reaction to their decision, millions are gathered in Tahrir today in what is called “Friday of taking back the revolution” or “the recovery of the revolution” – and of course it is understood recovery from whom.  Egyptians come out today to declare it explicitly to the military: It is enough. You took your chance to manage transition to fill it with chaos and violations of human rights. People who were ready to die for their glorious revolution against injustice and tyranny, will not accept being silenced or sidelined anymore.

One last thing.
Tomorrow is the birthday of a young Egyptian blogger,  Michael Nabil. Tomorrow he completes 26 year-old.

Maikel was arrested on 28 March at his home in Cairo, tried in a military court on 10 April and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment over comments he made on Facebook, and for allegedly spreading lies and rumors about the armed forces on his blog. On it, he criticizes the military’s use of force against peaceful protesters in Tahrir Square, and describes how he was detained and tortured by the Egyptian military in February.

He started his hunger strike 37 days ago. Doctors said that people on hunger strike don’t survive more than 40 days. This is the kind of crimes committed by the military against us in Egypt after a glorious revolution. Maikel is in prison merely for expressing his opinion and is going to die for it. I just wanted to say it out clear that all my support goes out to him in his suffering.
It is time for the military to back off and leave Egypt alone.  And the struggle continues.

The Art Of Making Lifelike —

 

The Marionettes, the Marionettes’ leader,  and the Marionettes’ makers.

Collage and photo edit- by me.

Original photos from here.

 

 

 

 

 

Egypt: The New Born Military Dictatorship

Screen Shot of the Military Dictatorship page on Wikipedia
Screen Shot of the Military Dictatorship page on Wikipedia

ِAnd so we are now a military dictatorship, says wikipedia. Day after day, I was feeling that we are already a military dictatorship. I googled the term in order to get more insight. I was hoping I was wrong.  I scrolled down the wikipedia page to stop in surprise! Egypt was listed as one of only three military dictatorships in the world, along with North Korea and Fiji. Sadly, it says ” since the Egyptian Revolution, 2011″.

I paused there in shock. This is not happening. Wikipedia is not ‘ The Perfect Source’, it is not an academic encyclopedia, yet they just stated the truth.

What happened after Mubarak stepped down?

The Supreme Council for Armed Forces SCAF took over, and promised in their statements that they will protect the revolutionary legitimacy.

Then there was a referendum for people to decide whether they still want to have the 1971 constitution after amending few articles in it [from which Egyptians suffered for the past 40 years for giving a dictator authorities to the president, among other things], OR to have a constitutional declaration which stipulates basic rights in the transitional period until the new constitution is drafted. The whole thing was fishy. Why in the world would people be questioned whether they want a failed constitution to be in place? Revolutions make constitutions fall! Especially dictators constitutions!

After the implicit support of SCAF, and direct support of Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists to vote YES, including using religious discourses, people actually voted yes. only 4 millions out of 18 millions voted NO. Why? Because people felt this is best for the ‘stability’ of the country as SCAF was advocating.

Surprisingly, SCAF afterwards discovered the huge constitutional stupidity, because the 1971 constitution doesn’t allow SCAF to be on top of power. So what did they do? They simply issued a wholly new constitutional declaration, which basically transfers the dictator powers that were given to the president in the 1971 constitution, to SCAF. So HOORAY! We have a new dictator! Article 56 of the Constit. Declaration highlights SCAF’s authorities- [my translation below]

Article 56: The Supreme Council of the armed forces manage the affairs of the country, and in order to do that assume the following powers:

1 Legislation.
2 Adoption of the policy of the state and the public budget and monitor its implementation.
3 Appointment of the appointed members in the People’s Assembly.
4 Calling upon the People’s Assembly and Shura Council to hold their regular sessions, and calling for an extraordinary session and calling for their suspension.
5 Right to promulgate laws or object to them.
6 representing the State domestically and abroad, and the ratification of international treaties and conventions, and they are considered part of the legal system in the country.
7 Appointment of the Prime Minister and his deputies, ministers and their deputies and relieving them from their posts.
8 Appointment of civil servants and military and political representatives and removing them from their posts in the manner prescribed in the law, and the approving the representatives of foreign states.
9 To pardon or commute a sentence, but amnesty shall not be granted except by law.
10 Other powers and functions of the President of the Republic as prescribed under laws and regulations.

The Council may delegate its Chairman or one of its members in any of the terms of reference.

Who was consulted when drafting the 62 articles  constitutional declaration and SCAF authorities? Definitely NOT the Egyptian people.

If the army really wanted to protect the revolutionary legitimacy, they would have worked very hard from day one to transfer authority to an elected civil entity. Money spent on that useless referendum could have been invested in democratic direct elections for a presidential council along with a committee drafting the nation’s new constitution.

The crazy rush for SCAF to be in control of the transitional period in Egypt poses a lot of questions about their intention in the near future. A revolution happened in Tunisia as well and it ousted their president, but hey! Wikipedia didn’t include them in the list of the world’s military dictatorships. Guess why? Because although the army interfered to protect the revolution as well in Tunisia, they didn’t seek power afterwards. Very clear I think.

Egypt under Military Rule

What has been happening since then is how normally military dictatorships rule. Nothing new here.

Military trials of civilians

Military trials for civilians since they were first called in to streets by Mubarak on Jan. 28th.  Human Rights groups say the number reached thousands of civilians in military prisons.

Excessive use of force

SCAF exerted all possible efforts to end the protest in Tahrir, using media, mobilizing people against each other and finally: excessive use of force. 26 of February, 6 and 8 of March, 9 and 12 of April  and 15 of May are all dates on which the Egyptian army attacked peaceful protests.  They used live ammunition to clear some of them and beating and electric shocks in all of them. What happened on April 9th in Tahrir square for example will always be stuck to our memories.

Tahrir was refilled with innocents’ blood again, after less than two months since Mubarak stepping down. Using live ammunition didn’t stop since then. We all witnessed what happened on Nakba day: 15 May.

Human rights NGOs were trying their best to document deaths and injuries, but looking for such info was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Apparently orders were given not to release any info regarding deaths. Humble data on injured were released, exactly as what happened on April 9th. Which actually reminds me of the early revolution days, when Government hospitals participated in the conspiracy against revolutionaries and refused to issue them medical reports, or state the right reason for death on death certificates and many other.  It is like history is repeating itself.

Torture and ill-treatment

Torture has been going on and on. The Egyptian museum was used as a military-run torture base actually throughout the Tahrir protest. Revolutionaries were kidnapped from Tahrir and surrounding streets, beaten, harassed and humiliated. Virginity tests were conducted to females!!!! As a victim testified, they were stripped naked while doctors checked them out, leaving the door of the room open, allowing other army officers outside to witness the whole thing, and a male army officer was present inside the room. What kind of sick mentality is this? What kind of laws allow them to invade the privacy of those HUMAN BEINGS like that? Then of course, a total local media blackout on the issue afterwards. Several Human Rights groups issued strong statements, calling for investigations in the matter, then we heard nothing at all about it.

The Egyptian army also invaded Cairo University campus, beat and dispersed using force students who were protesting inside school of Mass Communication against their Pro-Mubarak dean.

What kind of laws allow a state army to attack universities?

Laws?

Well, it is military rule. Laws DON’T have to exist anyway. SCAF invents laws. SCAF issues laws and SCAF can’t be questioned for any of their actions. Questioning SCAF is just not constitutional. Actually some ‘intellectuals” called upon the army to apply Martial Law to even suppress peaceful protests more and more.  Little did they know. Emergency law is actually still functioning. Yes, the revolution didn’t manage to take this one down. Curfew is still there [ 2-5 am]. HELLO! We are under military rule.

Using their ‘constitutional legislative powers’, they issued several laws without consulting anyone. Including the famous anti-protests law (!!!), political parties law, and the law administering political participation. All are issued without consulting the people. National political powers and human rights NGOs are excluded. The latter actually *wasted* tens of years conducting research and publishing scholarship about law and constitution reform and now they are being marginalized.

Phony national debates and neo-intellectualism

Moreover, SCAF folks were very lucky indeed.  A bunch of intellectuals and activists took their side, and voluntarily started advocating for SCAF and its importance to keep stability in Egypt post-Mubarak. One of them actually stated live in a press conference while hitting his fist on the table: THE ARMY IS A REDLINE!! With their own hands they created a new dictator, a god who they started to worship.

Soon SCAF and his weak adherent the so-called “transitional government” led by Sharaf, started to create fora for national debate. Like these amazing National debate sessions taking place these days. Debating what exactly? Nobody knows. Laws governing the transitional period were issued already or are in the making while they are sitting there ‘debating’ in front of TV cameras.  Invitees to those national debate sessions include former NDP members. Isn’t this just lovely? They filled the country with corruption for the past 30 years and incited against the revolution and revolutionaries, then are now invited to reflect on their visions regarding New Egypt.

How democratic we are!

When one of the revolutionaries took the floor, in pne of the sessions and expressed his opinion regarding Mubarak cronies being invited and criticized SCAF’s performance during the transitional period, they cut live streaming off the debate. This is not the first time. the same thing happened with Bothaina Kamel, an activist and a potential presidential candidate when she was talking live On Egyptian TV about SCAF violations. She was later called in for interrogation at Military prosecutor’s.

But HEY. This is not a freaking nightmare. It is just military rule.

Justice

All this is happening while people don’t have the slightest trust in the current Egyptian Justice system to prosecute the former regime, and I don’t only mean the big heads. Policemen also had their share in violations and murder.  Hassan Nafaa actually wrote a very important article about his personal experience in litigating one of the policemen accused of killing protesters during the revolution. We need some kind of transitional justice that can deal with the huge violations committed by Mubarak regime, not only during the revolution, but for the past 30 years.

Until now there is no serious official initiative to compensate martyrs families or treat the injured. Thousands are in serious condition and can’t afford treatment expenses.

I really can’t remember all the violations of SCAF. The problem is that more and more violations happen everyday. Nobody seems to be able to stop it. But hey, it is military rule.

A ‘temporary’ military rule?!

Some activists and politicians are actually avoiding discussing those serious violations of freedoms and human rights, claiming that it is just a temporary period and that everything will end after the parliamentary elections. I am wondering how can they trust the army over the transitional period? How can we guarantee that the transfer of power will be actually transparent and peaceful as they hope/believe?

The new law administering political participation actually didn’t overcome some of the most serious problems in the previous law. One of them is the executive powers of the committee supervising the elections. The supervising committee  didn’t have any executive powers in the previous law, they just had the mandate to supervise the electoral process, including for example supervising “the preparation of  electoral lists.” Those lists [ voters names lists] were a main reason behind elections rigging in previous years, because they were not updated and had dead people names listed [who were actually able to vote!].  Voting now with National ID card is good, but electoral lists are still there and need serious reconstruction with proper supervision.
Who will do that? Other concerns were expressed by political powers who felt totally marginalized.

Sectarian violence

SCAF also has a failed domestic policy to face sectarian violence. [ they deal with it with Customary Reconciliations Sessions between Muslims ‘mostly Salafis’ and Christians!! Yes! in the year 2011, after the Jan 25 revolution, we still resort to customs rather than law. This of course comes with a mysterious disappearance of the law enforcement entity: POLICE from all over Egypt.

BUT HEY AGAIN. It is military rule! What law and order are you talking about?!

Bottom line..

So the democratic process in the transitional period in Egypt is a complete failure. Human rights violations continue, military trials for civilians continue, and then we still find intellectuals and activists who defend SCAF, thinking that there will be an easy transfer of powers. Really?

The Way Out?

Now the only way out as I see it is a second revolution on May 27th. Personally I am calling for a transitional elected civil entity and a directly elected committee to draft the constitution. I need to feel I am standing on common grounds with the entity ruling the country. I am a civilian. Normally civilians ELECT CIVILIANS to represent them. And we, the people of Egypt, made a revolution that took a dictator down. We deserve better than being one of the three military dictatorships in the world. Shame on SCAF and shame on whoever let them think they are above the people.

#NOSCAF

-This post is a response to the call some activists issued to blog exposing SCAF violations in Egypt. You can find hundreds of other posts on this facebook page or on twitter using the hashtag #NoSCAF.

-I personally dedicate this post to the blogger Maikel Nabil who was arrested by the Military Police and was subject to a military court that sentenced him to a three years in prison for publishing a post documenting army violations. He is in jail for expressing his opinion and wasn’t even subject to a fair civil trial. Now after hundreds of Egyptian bloggers blogged exposing SCAF violations, I am wondering how they will get to catch us all. Long Live Free Egypt.

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

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!

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