‘We established our credibility with the Egyptian people through years of hard work resisting the dictatorship and addressing practices which violated human rights. Regardless of the military council and government’s position towards us, we will not participate in discussions which, ten months after the fall of Mubarak, begin to look less and less serious. It is out of question to discuss a constituent assembly to draft the constitution with the government and military council. Their prisons are packed with hundreds, if not thousands, of citizens. Their people have paid the price for a society which respects the rights and dignity of humans with the blood of their children. And members of this government and council continue to evade punishment for their crimes, falsehoods, and incitement against the Egyptian people.’
Read the whole thing, translated into English to the highest standards of unpaid professionalism, here. (Ignore the typo above, seriously. I need a better copy editor.)
The potential of Egypt’s first vaguely reliable voting data:
‘It’s now common knowledge that the majority of the people who said Yes were basically people who were convinced by the arguments of the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists, remnants of the NDP, pro-stability and lets-just-get-the-country-back-to-normal-because-we-don’t-really-know-anything mindset and for sure people who read the amendments and think they are good enough.
While the No people are mostly people who don’t like the Muslim Brotherhood, or afraid of them, people who think that the amendments are not enough and aspire for a more radical change even if the cost a longer interim period. In short, a good percentage of people who were active as opposition on the ground since January 25 and on Facebook and Twitter.
I hope you got the idea. That these group are somehow sort of different to each other.
Assuming that most people did vote near to their homes. Which is another assumption but I doubt that there was a massive shuffle in the distribution of people across districts or perhaps governerates to let us say that this assumption is totally incorrect.
I think the detailed vote data, that will tell us the number of people who said Yes than No in each district, are incredibly important for presidential candidates and political parties. But let’s focus on presidential candidates first.’
Interesting profile of Tariq alBishri, Egyptian intellectual and former State Council judge, and the man tasked with chairing the committe to rewrite the Egyptian constitution:
‘Bishri is profoundly antagonistic to the military tribunals and special courts as well as the state of emergency that the government has employed over the past decade. Far more important for Egypt’s future, however, is his occasional suggestion (at least when he was much younger) of a very different vision of the Egyptian state: one in which the high degree of centralization and hierarchy that currently characterizes it was sharply reduced. What, in other words, if (without dismantling the current state which shares much in common with the various governments that issued from the French revolution) Egyptians were to gain much more authority to make decisions over their own lives? Bishri will not (and I think very few Egyptians would) propose transforming Egypt into a federal system whether on the American, German or Brazilian models. But he might be interested in transferring power away from a hierarchical system centered in Cairo to one in which Egyptians gained more control over the institutions that affect their lives locally. In some ways the past three weeks have confirmed some of Bishri’s earlier ideas that Egyptians could govern themselves if given the chance. He now may be in a position to push that idea a little further forward.’