Saturday: Super Moon and Democratic Practices

Even though I was pushing for a No to the constitutional ammendments since going into parlimentary and presidential elections with a new constitution that hasn’t been butchered by Mubarak and his thugs for 30 years meant we had a backbone to our revolution. However, it seems that the “yes” vote is the clear winner.

Usually what you are used to hearing during elections and voting procedures in Egypt is news of people arrested, people stopped from voting, lobbying inside, buses of people paid to vote and accounts of dead people voting. Even though yesterday was not perfect, including an attack on possible presidential candidate El Baradei and the arrest of human rights lawyer Ragia Omran, I have to say yesterday given the circumstances was very much a success.

25 million people voted, as opposed to 6 million people voting in November’s parliamentary elections. That is more than half of the people eligible to vote in Egypt. Not only that, this process was rushed, confusing and the Military Council did a very bad job in communicating the implications of voting yes or no. Yet within all these circumstances 25 million Egyptians still felt involved enough to go vote, and that is a clear indicator of political participation and interest as well as the success of the ongoing revolution.

Update since posted: Only 18.5 million people voted not 25 million as previously reported. For the more figures of the result of the constitutional referendum click here.

We have a lot of work to do, a lot awareness to raise. Political parties, movements and independents that are pro-reform, pro-democracy and want to work to make Egypt a country which stands for the revolutions slogans of freedom and social justice will need to work extra hard to get themselves represented in parliament. Citizens will also have to take an active role in raising awareness, lobbying for these groups and ensuring the voting population understands the implications of voting and the importance of their newly found voice.

On March 19th, Egypt witnessed what maybe is the first real democratic process it has seen in the past years. On March 19th also the moon was the closest to the earth it had ever been in 18 years. What better way to celebrate such a huge step for our revolution than under a moonlight so bright that it lit up Cairo’s already shimmering sky?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


سلطات الرئيس و شرعية الثورة تحكم علينا أن نصوت لأ

وحدة صحبتي بتدرس في جامعة أكسفورد بعتتلي المنشورة دي في ايميل بعنوان “ليه نرفض التعديلات و نطالب بدستور جديد”. يجب علينا جميعاً أن ننشر الوعي من خلال كل وسائل الاتصالات على فيسبوك و تويتر و ايميل و طباعة و توزيع. لو عايزين نعيش في ديمقراطية و حرية حقيقية لازم يوم السبت تطلع النتيجة لأ

ممكن تقرا أو تنزل منشورة من اللينك هنا

A good friend of mine studying in Oxford sent me this flyer titled “Why we say no to the amendments and demand a new constitution”. It simply explains all the aspects. We all have to spread awareness about this through all communication methods like facebook, twitter, email, printing hand outs… etc.  If we want to live in a free democratic country, the result on Saturday must be NO

You can read or download the flyer through this link


Why I’m voting NO

The Egyptian revolution has been a peaceful battle for change. This change is not just about Mubarak or his minions. It is about changing the entire way in which we live, work, produce and most importantly make decisions. A revolution by definition is overthrowing the old to bring in a new system. Our demand is a system that is based on democracy, active participation of citizens in decision making, and living in a society where the individual really matters.

Vote No!

However, next Saturday the army is asking us to vote on accepting or not the constitutional amendments that they have formed a committee to put forward. I’m not going to talk about the content, because that has been discussed by people who actually understand more what they are talking about, so there are many better sources to help one understand why they should vote yes or no in that sense. From my side I have another issue with it.

Why the hell is it happening so quickly?

The amendments were done to a constitution that the past government has been butchering for decades to support them in clinging on to power. Part of the revolution’s demands was a new constitution that supports freedom, democracy and social justice. This document is something that is meant to be sustainable, and we have pretty much agreed that this piece of paper we call a constitution is no longer valid. In fact one of the amendments is actually that within 6 months of a parliament being elected we will be drafting a new one.

Yeah we need to elect a new president, so we need rules on how one can get nominated and elected since the old ones no longer are valid. Fair enough. Just create temporary rules for that. But to change the constitution like this is completely exclusive. The ammendments just came out 2 weeks ago, and in a week we are expected to be ready to vote yes or no, when most of us don’t really understand what are the implications of this, and those who do understand do not have enough time to reach the voters.

I’m voting NO. Not because I disagree with the content (even though I do on some parts), but because I am against the process as a whole. Democracy means including people in decision making and having people make informed decisions, something that this process is just not giving us.

%d bloggers like this: