Content

Comelis Hulsman, 2 Historical Context of the 2014 Constitution in:

Cornelis Hulsman, Diana Serodio (Ed.)

The 2014 Egyptian Constitution, page 21 - 36

Perspectives from Egypt

1. Edition 2017, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-3838-3, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-6933-2, https://doi.org/10.5771/9783828869332-21

Series: Anwendungsorientierte Religionswissenschaft, vol. 10

Tectum, Baden-Baden
Bibliographic information
2 Historical Context of the 2014 Constitution (Comelis Hulsman) Political opposition activities were mounting in Egypt as 2011 approached.6 According to Jason Brownlee, two parallel opposition groups were gaining strength: while the worker's syndicates protested the government's neo liberal economic reforms, activists in the urban centers of Cairo and Alex andria focused their frustrations on the heavy-handedness of the wellequipped police state and the succession plans made for Jamal Mubarak.7 Indeed, the 'day of rage' planned for January 25, 2011 targeted Egypt's na tional police holiday and was organised primarily by non-Islamist factions. However, as the protests grew, most factions in Egypt were temporarily united by the common goal of deposing Mubarak.8 On the early morning of January 28, police arrested Muslim Brotherhood leaders accused of organising and partaking in attacks on security forces in an attempt to quell the protests.9 On the same day, the government shut down Egypt's telecommunication services, further infuriating demonstra tors. After Friday prayers, thousands congregated in Tahrir Square and other squares across Egypt.10 At 16:00 that afternoon, the police received orders to withdraw, and an hour later, they had converged on heavily forti fied areas and buildings, including the Ministry of Interior.11 The with drawal of the police led to the deployment of the Armed Forces at 18:00 at the request of Mubarak's Minister of Interior, Habib al-' Adli.12 After the up Cook 2012, 276. Brownlee 2012, 123-124; For more on the succession of Jamal Mubarak see M. Zahid, The Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's Succession Crisis (London, Tauris I. B, 2010), p. 130. Fahim 2011. Hulsman, C. and R. A. Forster, 'Consultation with Prof A. Salama', Maadi, Cairo, July 6, 2015. Prof. A. Salama adds that court proceedings show that Mursf had been referred for criminal prosecution that day (Reuters, 2011). Accessed June 1, 2015. Brownlee 2012,143. Hulsman, C. 'Various interviews with (retired) police officers or close family members', Cairo, February/March 2011. Rebeleconomy.com 2011. Accessed May 26, 2015. 21 rising, police presence in Egypt's streets remained sparse and they would not return to full force until after July 3, 2013. In conjunction with the dramatic events in Cairo, thousands of inmates at various prisons, including Tura, Abu Za'bal, and Wadi al-Nafrun13, es caped. Circumstances varied at different locations. At some prisons it was apparent that the guards had fled, whereas at others, fleeing prisoners were shot.14 A fact-finding mission initiated by then-Prime Minister, Issam Sharaf, accused Mubarak's Minister of Interior, Habib al- Adli, of orchestrating the events in an attempt to instigate chaos at the height of the uprising.15 On February 10, President Mubarak delivered an impassioned speech to temper public opinion. Among other concessions, he provided a roadmap that included making amendments to the constitution, his resignation, and the transfer of power. However, in regards to these two final concessions, he asked to be given until September 2011, lest the situation become more chaotic.16 At first, the demonstrators seemed satisfied by Mubarak's sentiments. However, some activists were undeterred and Mubarak's proposition was presented as 'me or chaos' by the opposition. Following 18 days of demon strations, on February 11, 2011, Field Marshal Muhammad Husayn Tanfawi announced that Mubarak had stepped down and that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) would assume control of the country. Reuters 2011. Accessed June 1, 2015. Muhammad MursI, later president of Egypt, according to a statement from his Lawyer, was arrested with seven other Muslim Brotherhood leaders and briefly detained at Wadi al-Natrun prison from which they either escaped or were released the following day, onjanuary 29, 2011. Abouzeid 2011. Hamza 2011. The Business Insider 2013. Accessed May 30, 2015. Egyptian Streets 2015. Accessed April 15, 2015. See BBC News Hour on July 26, 2013, [http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/pOlcbxdv.]. Accessed May 16, 2015. This narrative changed somewhat following the initial court hearing in Isma'iliyya, which was held before June 30, 2013. In the court room, Judge Khalid Mahrjub announced that Hamas and Hezbollah were involved in attacking Wadi al-Natrun prison in order to liberate high-ranking Muslim Brotherhood members including Muhammad MursI. In May 2015, MursI was sentenced to death. The ruling was confirmed on June 16, 2015. Charges included murder, attempted murder, arson and looting during the escape and in a separate case he was also sentenced to 25 years in prison for espionage. Mubarak 2011. 22 Two days later, SCAF dissolved the widely discredited People's Assem bly,17 suspended the 1971 constitution, and on February 15, appointed Judge Tariq al-Bishri (a top Egyptian legal expert widely believed to be sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood) as head of the Egyptian Constitu tional Review Committee.18 It is likely al-Bishri's nomination was either the result of negotiations between the army and the Muslim Brotherhood, or an effort by the military to appease public sentiment. With the rise of SCAF as the government's executive branch, the constitu tion of 1971 was suspended. Prof. Ayman Salama, a constitutional law ex pert and Professor of law,, underscores the percieved legitimacy of SCAF among Egyptians during this time, highlighting the illegitimacy of the 1971 Constitution. SCAF had become the "de facto" executive of Egypt, responsi ble for safeguarding the state in the short-term.19 In an opinion piece in The Guardian published on on February 13, 2011, Judge al-Bishri, follows a simi lar line of reasoning: An assault against the regime means an assault against the legiti macy on which it is based. This creates a need for a new legitimacy, responsive to the demands of the new system [... hence ...] why the formulation of a new constitution following the demise of Egypt's old regime was a necessity. The revolutionary force that overthrew Mubarak was a popular movement. It did not have the organisational and institutional lead ership to take power and replace the regime of the president, and so this fell to the army. In other words, political power was transferred to the supreme military council on the basis of revolutionary, not constitutional, legitimacy."20 McGreal 2011. Hulsman 2012 (b), 18; Trew and Shukrallah 2012. Forster, R. A. 'Consultation with Prof. A. Salama,' Cairo, September 23, 2014. Due to the special nature of de facto (non-elected) regimes following a revolution or a coup, they have the authority to issue constitutional declarations to maintain order and security. Contrarily, de jure - elected - regimes cannot issue constitutional declarations. This is the reason why the 2011 SCAF constitutional declaration was acceptable. However, when former-President Muhammad Mursi issued his declaration in November 22, 2013, he nullified the power traditionally located and monopolized with the people via elections. El-Bishry 2011. 23 Thus, as part of an illegitimate constitution, Article 84 (1971) which regulated presidential succession during the Mubarak era, , had no role to play in post-Mubarak Egypt. Furthermore, according to Dr. Usama Farid (another close associate of Muslim Brotherhoodleadership) although SCAF was negotiating with all political parties at the time, the Muslim Brotherhood was in a privileged position since it was organized "like an army" wherein local levels adhered to hierarchical leadership.21 Meanwhile, on February 18, the widely popular Muslim Brotherhood ideo logue, Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, flew in from Qatar and gave his first public appearance in Egypt since 1981. With a warning to the military against prolonging reform, al-Qaradawi stated, "The revolution isn't over. It has just started to build Egypt ... guard your revolution."22 2.1 Two Roadmaps Since President Mubarak's resignation, Egypt has gone through intense po litical turmoil that has affected the country deeply. Heated discussions arose regarding which roadmap to take to stabilize Egypt. Split along polit ically motivated lines between Islamists and non-Islamists, two very differ ent paths emerged, both of which have been followed in the aftermath of the January 25 and June 30 protests. The first roadmap followed was backed by the Islamists, specifically the Muslim Brotherhood. In it they advocated to hold parliamentary elections first, followed by presidential elections, and then begin constitutional amendments. The reason the Islamists wanted parliamentary elections first was that they hoped to capitalize off their grassroots strength, knowing that they would do well in fair elections. Indeed, for decades, widespread sup port networks have been created by Islamist-aligned social work among the lower classes. These groups gain support by appealing to social justice and the state's negligence of the poor. Compared to other socialist groups in cluding Nasserists, the Islamists benefitted politically from President Al- Hulsman, C. and D. Serodio, 'Interview with 'Usama Farid', Cairo, March 2013. Hulsman, C. 2011 (a); Murphy 2011. The concept behind the term 'revolution' came quickly under scrutiny by academics such as Professor Emeritus Abdallah Schleifer, when SCAF took power following Mubarak's resignation. It was largely opponents to military rule that insisted on using the term. 24 Sadat's infitah economic policies during the 1970s, which widened the poverty-gap. This in-turn allowed Islamists to gain support through their ex tensive social work. This first road map was the route taken following the January 25 uprising. The second path to be followed was supported by non-Islamists who sought a constitutional change first, followed by presidential elections, and then parliamentary elections. Non-Islamist political parties were, and still are, deeply divided by internal conflicts. Furthermore, non-Islamists were aware that they were organizationally weaker and that this succession would effectively keep the Islamists at bay while biding time to organize for upcoming parliamentary elections. Furthermore, they argued that the Con stitution would form a legal foundation for the elections. This was the roadmap chosen by Field Marshall Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi following June 30, 2013. These two roadmaps are the main divisions that influenced the debate on a new Constitution. Equally important is the context in which the 2014 Con stitution was formed: the Muslim Brotherhood was attempting to flex its muscles, using all means possible to come to power and hold on to it. How ever, in the process the Muslim Brotherhood alienated potential allies who, like them, did not want a continuation of military dominated govern ments.23 2.2 Inclusion vs. Exclusion On March 19, 2011, Egyptians voted on the text of al-Bishri's committee, limiting presidential terms to a maximum of two four-year terms. The pro posed text stipulated a roadmap where parliamentary elections would come first, followed by presidential elections, and the formation of a Con stituent Assembly to write a new permanent constitution for Egypt. The Brotherhood and other Islamist groups campaigned in favour of a 'yes' vote, non-Islamists, on the other hand campaigned against it. In the end, the 'yes' campaign prevailed with 77% in favor from the 41% of eligible voters. The more liberal and secular political actors and activists saw the Constitu tional Declaration and the March 19 referendum as inherently flawed and largely illegitimate. The drafting process was especially criticised for its lack Hulsman, C. and C. Ramizova, 'Interview with Counselor Ahmad Tal'at, former deputy head of the liberal 'Ahrar Party', Heliopolis, June 22, 2015. 25 of civil and political party involvement and overall lack of transparency, in seeming disregard of democratic values. Prof. Ayman Salama, however, re ferring to his statement on de facto regimes, argues that this interpretation highlights a common misunderstanding, as constitutional declarations are produced during times of emergency. Therefore, dialogue with the people is not needed. However, the referendum provided the electorate with a false sense of democracy.24 Many non-Islamists believed the electorate was primarily focused on achieving stability, and they would have approved virtually any suggestion that was put to referendum without giving much thought to its content.25 The Muslim Brotherhood on the other hand, argued that the means by which the Constitutional Declaration was written was "the fastest way to restore civilian rule, and moreso, the best path to achieving stability as the political framework was still very blurry.26 Furthermore, they argued that putting the draft to referendum was proof of their willingness to attain popular approval before moving forward. This was also a means by which they could rely on their large network of support. However, the privileged position of the Muslim Brotherhood did not last. On November 1, the government announced a draft of 'Supraconstitutional Principles'27 and compiled the requisite criteria for choosing members of the Constituent Assembly. The draft was rejected by the Mus lim Brotherhood and several liberal groups since it gave the Armed Forces exceptional powers in the drafting process of the new constitution.28 In deed, Judge Tariq al-Bishri argued that this draft contradicted the referen dum in March.29 The proposal for these principles increased distrust in the intentions of SCAF and were a prelude to the Mohammed Mahmoud Street clashes - the street in downtown Cairo that connects Tahrir Square to the Ministry of In terior. While political parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, were campaigning for the coming parliamentary elec Hulsman, C. and R. A. Forster, 'Consultation with Prof. A. Salama, Maadi, Cairo, July 6, 2015. Serodio 2013 (b). Hulsman, Serodio and Casper 2013. A term used by SCAF to term their vision of stability. Ahram Online 2011. Accessed April 28, 2015. Ibid. 26 tions, young people — mostly non-Brotherhood— were continuously occu pying Tahrir Square with sit-ins, hampering traffic. According to Al-Ahram Weekly, security forces attacked a demonstration in Tahrir Square on the morning of 19 November, 2011.30 Four days of bloody clashes followed, ne gatively impacting public perceptions of both the then-ruling SCAF and the political parties who avoided taking part in the fighting.31 2.3 The Islamists Win the Elections Parliamentary elections followed in December 2011 and January 2012, wherein 54% of the electorate went to the polls - the highest percentage since the January 25 uprising. The elections concluded with 68.95% of votes going to the bloc of Islamist parties, and non-Islamist parties receiving the remaining 31.05%. This high voter turnout reflected the hope of possible change. The elections between March 2011 and January 2012 show support for Mus lim Brotherhood and their allies decreasing from 77% to 68.95%. Accord ingly, the Brotherhood's political leaders tried to use their victory in the People's Assembly elections to appoint a large percentage of their support ers to the Constituent Assembly. The first Assembly was formed prior to the presidential elections, but it was deemed to be too Islamist and prompted severe resistance. This resistance ultimately lead to the dissolu tion of the first Assembly.32 A compromise was later reached in the creation of the second Assembly which had fewer Islamist sympathizers, but none theless, had a sufficient majority with the ability to forcibly push decisions through. In the same period, the Islamist-dominated parliament passed the Political Isolation Law to prohibit former high-level members of the old regime from holding positions in office. This further contributed to the reduction in the popularity of the Islamist bloc. Islamist candidates received only 43.77% of Hulsman, C. 'Meeting human rights activist R. Sharqawi', Abdeen, Cairo, De cember 2, 2011. This story is disputed. While covering the clashes, C. Hulsman spoke with Ra'id al-Sharqawi, a human rights activist who witnessed the clashes and said that demonstrators tried to move from Tahrir through the Mohammed Mahmoud Street in the direction of the Ministry of Interior. Also present was a wounded Hamas affiliate. Ibrahim 2012. Hulsman 2013. 27 the vote during the first round of the presidential elections, which had a voter turnout of46%. On June 14, halfway through the second round of presidential elections, the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled the Parliamentary Elections Law and the Political Isolation Law unconstitutional. The first ruling meant that onethird of the parliament had been elected illegally and that it would be dis solved. Officially, the Brotherhood's line was to respect the Court's decision but, leading voices within the organization denounced the ruling and the court as being politically motivated. This claim has been refuted by some observ ers, since it was the third time that the Court had ruled elections unconsti tutional on the same grounds during the Mubarak era.33 Mursi, however, felt the court was opposed to him, and that its loyalties lay with the old re gime. It was this notion that drove the continuous conflict between the forthcoming president and the judiciary. Former Mubarak-era officials were confident that General Ahmad Shafiq, the last Prime Minister under ex-President Mubarak, would come to power, and thereby increase their influence.34 This confidence, coupled with the court's ruling to dissolve parliament, led many non-Islamist activists to fear the possibility of Shafiq rising to power; ultimately playing into the favour of the Brotherhood during the next electoral round. The second round of presidential elections in June 2012 saw a 51% voter turnout and Muhammad Mursi won with a reported 51.73% over Shafiq. Disputing the results, Shafiq claimed that he had won by a narrow margin, which caused the Presidential Election Committee to withhold the an nouncement of the electoral results for a week, while closed-door negotia tions took place. In the end, Mursi was announced as Egypt's first democ ratically elected president, by a heavily disputed - and possibly fraudulent - margin.35 Before Mursi was announced the winner of the presidential elections, SCAF added an addendum to the March Constitutional Declaration, granting themselves a number of presidential powers, which were nonetheless re 'Hulsman, C. and R. A. Forster, 'Consultation with Prof. A. Salama', Maadi, Cai ro, July 6, 2015; Hulsman 2012 (a). Hulsman 2012 (a). Hulsman 2014 (c). 28 pealed after Mursi became president. The new president also had to take his presidential oath before Egypt's High Constitutional Court to symbolize his acceptance of the court. Only reluctantly did Mursi take his oath before the court, and that, only after defiantly addressing the demonstrators in Tahrir Square.36 Once Mursi was elected president, he tried to overturn the Court's decision, but ultimately failed. In response to this, he gave more authority to the elected Shura Council, a body which only 11.4% of people voted for. Tradi tionally the Shura Council is not highly esteemed by the electorate and 83% of the seats went to the Islamist bloc, including the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters. Continuous clashes between the government and the judiciary became one of the defining characteristics of Mursi's presidency. This was particularly evident in the relationship between Mursi and Mubarak's last prosecutor general, Abd al-Majld Mahmud. Mursi lacked the legal ability to displace him and instead tried to remove him by appointing him ambassador to the Vatican.37 Mahmud rejected the offer, and but leveraged it to represent him self as a champion against the so-called 'Brotherhoodization' of the state. Mursi did not approve, and only a month later on November 22, 2012, he issued his infamous Constitutional Declaration, dismissing the cumbersome judge and further granting himself the ability to appoint Mahmud's succes sor. Mursi had effectively placed the matter beyond judicial review. The le gal battle continued throughout the first half of 2013 after Mahmud filed an appeal with the Cairo Appeals Court. The appeal struck down Mursi's abil ities to appoint a successor and moreover invalidated any and all conse quences of Mursi's replacement appointment. Another power struggle focused on the Supreme Constitutional Court's po tential judgment which would dissolve the Shura Council. After the dissolu tion of the People's Assembly in June 15, 2012, the Shura Council had tem porarily obtained full parliamentary power. This strengthened the institu tion considerably. In an attempt to avoid the dissolution, Islamist parties in the Shura Council proposed to reduce the retirement age of judges from 70 to 60 years of age. Such a reform would bring about the sudden retirement of ca. 3,000 judges, many of them in senior positions. Such a move would Farrington 2012. El-Sharnoubi 2013. 29 open these positions up to a new generation of judges during a time when security vetting could no longer be used to filter out Islamists. In the same declaration of November 22, Mursi wanted to create a buffer against the expected Supreme Constitutional Court ruling, thereby granted himself the power to legislate without judicial oversight or review. This, the Muslim Brotherhood argued, was "the fastest way to restore civilian rule, and the best path to achieving stability as the political framework was still very blurred." At the same time, Islamist demonstrators in front of the Con stitutional Court prevented judges from entering to stop them from issuing the expected ruling that would dissolve the second Constituent Assembly. Opponents to Mursi's decision called this an "Islamist coup d’etat," and hundreds of thousands of protesters belonging to liberal and independent parties flooded into the streets to protest Mursi's decree.38 For Mursi, this was the beginning of the end. 2.4 The Clashes in Winter 2012 The Presidential Palace, Al-Ittihadiyya, became the focal point for anti-Mursi protests. In response, the Brotherhood sent their supporters and they publically beat and allegedly tortured anti-Mursi demonstrators while the Re publican Guard remained behind the palace walls.39 Across the country, FJP Party offices were torched by protestors.40 The violence escalated the situa tion and rumours of organised militias, both Islamist and non-Islamist, sur faced.41 As protests raged, it became apparent that Mursi's presidential de cree had destroyed any chance of reconciliation between Islamists and their opponents in the short-term. Mursi's non-Islamist advisors began to walk out. As Egyptian politics factionalized, Mursi found himself relying on the Mus lim Brotherhood and their networks of supporters.42 Furthermore, he showed a steady willingness to ally himself with hard-line Islamists with whom he would often share a stage. Those who opposed them were de nounced as "against the religion" and the use of religiously inspired hate- Beaumont 2012. Andersen 2014 (c), 26. Molloy 2012. Hulsman 2013 (d). Hulsman, C. and D. Serodio, 'Interview with Usama Farid', Cairo, March 2013. 30 rhetoric became increasing commonplace within Brotherhood and pro- Mursi circles.43 Similarly, Egyptian media platforms began airing the opin ions of those opposed to Mursi in a routine and sensationalist manner.44 By June 2013, these trends entrenched themselves further when. On the 15th of June, 2013, during a conference on the Syrian civil war, Mursi stood sideby-side with preachers espousing militant anti-Shi a rhetoric, thereby pro viding de facto backing to their views.45 Two days later, on June 17, Mursi appointed Adil Muhammad al-Khayyat, a former leader of al-Jama a al- Islamiyya (the Islamist group responsible for the massacre of 58 tourists and 4 Egyptians in Luxor in November 1997) as governor of Luxor.46 In response to the growing political antagonism, youth activists had estab lished the Tamarrud campaign on April 28, which would eventually receive unofficial support from the police and army. In May and June of 2013, Tamarrud organized a mass signature drive to petition Mursi to call for early elections. Instead of seeking broad consensus, they began organizing their own counter demonstrations.47 Senior Brotherhood figures refused to acknowledge the discontent of a large and diverse part of the country's population.48 As tension grew, then-Minister of Defence, General al-Sisi warned that "the army [would] intervene to 'save Egypt' if the country con tinue^] to descend into chaos." 49 Mursi remained defiant. With the June 30 protest on the horizon, Mursi went on television on June 26 to address the nation and, much like his predecessor before him, tried to temper public opinion. In his speech, he admitted to having made mistakes, but declined to identify them. Instead he blamed the country's problems on various actors, including the former See Andersen 2013. See El-Haddad 2013. Four days later a Shi'a cleric and three followers were beaten to death by an angry crowd in Giza. See Hulsman 2013 (d), 49-51. Beach 2013. Ahram Online 2013 (a). Accessed April, 28, 2015. The Preamble of the 2014 Constitution mentions that "tens of millions" of Egyptians came out to protest on June 30, 2013. The Brotherhood, in addition to other observers, actively dispute this number but, whatever the precise numbers, there were most likely millions of protesters. Project on Middle East Democracy 2013. Accessed May 21, 2015. 31 regime and its supporters, the secular opposition, and the judiciary.50 Fol lowing the speech, comparisons between him and Mubarak were made. People were unhappy that, much like Mubarak, Mursi was unwilling to take responsibility for his actions and his failure to bring about the changes that people expected. Less than a month later, al-Sisi stated that he had dis cussed the speech with Mursi beforehand, but after Mursi spoke, al-Sisi was deeply "surprised" that Mursi had not made a greater effort to reconcile. He gave "a totally different speech, which alienated everybody," said al- Sisi.51 Mass protests were planned on the one year anniversary of Mursi's inaugu ration and on June 30, 2013, millions of Egyptians poured out onto the street and flooded Tahrir. The Armed Forces, police, the judiciary, several ministers in Mursi's cabinet and the formal religious establishment decided to stand by the protesters. Mursi's supporters in the al-Nur Party, although not in support of the Tamarrud campaign, dropped their support for the president.52 Meanwhile, a court in Isma iliyya was continuing its hearings into Mursi's role in the 2011 prison breaks.53 2.5 Mursi's Deposal On several occasions before July 3, the Minister of Defense, Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi, had given a number of clear warnings that political unrest could in stigate the "collapse of the state."54 Such warnings were aimed at all fac tions, not just the ruling FJP. According to Basil al-Dabh, on May 11 al-Sisi stated that the army "was not the solution to the current political prob lems."55 However, on June 23, General al-Sisi's patience dissipated: "There is a state of division in society, and the continuation of it is a danger to the El-Shazli 2013. Al-Sisi 2013 (a). The al-Nur Party is a conservative Salafist Muslim political party founded after the January 25, 2011 revolution and becoming the second largest party in the Parliamentary elections of December 2011-January 2012. The largest party in these elections was the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party. The key witness was Lt. Col. Muhammad Mabruk of Egypt's National Security Apparatus; he was murdered near his home while he was driving his car on November 17, 2013, halting the trial. Saleh 2013. El-Dabh 2013. 32 Egyptian state, there must be consensus among us all."56 On July 1, 2013, Minister of Defence, ' Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi, told Mursi "that we still have 48 hours to find a way out of the crisis."57 On the 3rd of July, Mursi remained defiant and as a result, later that day, General al-Sisi appeared on national TV and announced that Mursi had been deposed. Al-Sisi then presented a new transitional roadmap.58 Follow ing Mursi's removal from power, Brotherhood-supporters labelled the move "a military coup orchestrated by the fulul59 and foreign actors."60 Only five days after Mursi and his government were deposed, Adli Mansur, head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, was installed as the In terim President and issued a Constitutional Declaration suspending the 2012 Constitution.61 The declaration defined the basic functions of the state, delineated essential rights and freedoms, and stipulated a revised plan with a timescale for the establishment of a new Constituent Assembly to amend the 2012 Constitution. The new roadmap would culminate in the election of a new president and a new parliament. Similar to the Constitutional Declaration of March 2011, several political parties and social movements criticized the document for the lack of trans parency in its formation, and the insufficient role played by political and civil movements involved in the uprisings.62 Additional criticism focused on Article 24 which gave the interim president, some argued, excessive ex ecutive powers as well as temporary legislative authority. Tamarrud claimed that the Declaration of July 8 was the first step towards a new dic tatorship and vocally disapproved of the document.63 Critics of the declaration also argued that it gave excessive leverage to judges in the Constitutional writing process who would form a substantial Kingsley 2013 (a). Al-Sisi 2013 (b). Ibid. Arabic word meaning "remnants" referring to political actors associated with the old regime. Andersen 2014 (a). State Information Service 2013. Accessed June 3, 2015. Ahram Online 2013 (b). Accessed April 28, 2015. Prof. Salama argues that Tamarrud, just as earlier liberals in March 2011, could not see the difference between a de facto and a de jure government ('Consultation with Prof. A. Salama', Maadi, Cairo, July 6, 2015; also see also footnote 28). 33 portion of the Committee of Experts. Article 28 stipulated that the expert Committee of Ten was to be formed by judges and constitutional law pro fessors, who would be responsible for initially amending the 2012 Constitu tion. This was seen as interference by the judiciary in political decision making. Especially since the declaration was made before, and not after the Constituent Assembly members had access to the text. The committee would also serve in an advisory capacity to the Committee of Fifty. The anger among Islamist factions was obvious, and would only increase. On July 8, 51 pro-Mursi demonstrators were shot and killed outside the presidential palace, and their photos were displayed at the Raba a al- Adawiyya sit-in throughout July and August. The demonstrators were por trayed among pro-Mursi factions as martyrs for the 'good cause.' Accord ing to security forces, the shooting on July 8 began after armed men on mo torcycles fired on the gate. However, this account has been denied by some witnesses who were supporting Mursi, and the circumstances remain un certain.64 Increased state violence against the Muslim Brotherhood was used by the Brotherhood's public relations team to portray the group as the victims of oppressors. This tactic was useful in winning sympathy among the population for their cause.65 The dispersion of the sit-ins at Nahda and Raba a al- Adawiyya squares in August was the pinnacle of this violence. An estimated 817 people, includ ing a handful of policemen were killed during the two day clearance. The violence sent shockwaves across Egypt as revenge. Attacks took place against police stations, Coptic churches and buildings. Particularly horrid was the slaughter of five policemen in the Giza village of Kirdasa, their mu tilated bodies repeatedly shown on Egyptian media.66 Among it all, Bro therhood leaders such as Amr Darraj, spoke of the need for non-violent and political solutions, while denying Brotherhood agency.67 Images of the dead and hate rhetoric were used on both sides to discredit the actions of their opponents. Among the most thorough exposes of hate rhetoric in Egypt at the time was written by the Danish journalist, Flem ming W. Andersen. Andersen highlighted how Brotherhood rhetoric at Kingsley 2013 (b). Hulsman, C. 'Interview with Muslim Brotherhood leader, Wafa’ al-Banna, at Raba'a al- 'Adawiyya', July 25, 2013; Hulsman 2014 (b). Hendy 2013. Schoorel 2013. 34 times culminated in explicit calls for violence,68 while also documenting the propaganda war on the so-called 'fifth column' since Mursi's deposal.69 2.6 Formation of a New Constitution It is in this polarized political environment that the Constitutional Assem bly was gathered and put to work. The most concerning aspect that preoc cupied many was the tight deadline for drafting the new constitution and sending it to a referendum. The Committee of Ten was only given a month to make initial amendments and present their draft to the Committee of Fifty. The Committee of Fifty was then given merely sixty working days to agree upon a final draft. For many, three months remained too short a pe riod of time to amend such an important document. Muslim Brotherhood members continue to hammer on the point of legiti macy. They view Mursi as the first legitimately elected president and see his deposal as an illegal and illegitimate action. As a result, the Brotherhood and their allies boycotted the presidential elections that brought President al-Sisi to power. Since President al-Sisi came to power in May 2014, disagreements over the Electoral Districts Law have delayed parliamentary elections originally scheduled for March 2015. These elections were pushed back to two phases between October 17 and December 2, 2015. Most of the opposition to Presi dent al-Sisi's government boycotted the elections for the House of Repre sentatives, a gesture which reflects the continuing fragmentation of Egypt's political environment. Andersen 2013. Andersen 2014 (b). 35

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Abstract

After President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011, discussions followed immediately regarding the revision of the Egyptian Constitution. Islamist political groups insisted that Parliamentary and Presidential elections should precede the formation of a new Constitution, aiming to use their momentum to gain the upper hand in the Constitutional Assembly. Non-Islamists believed that representatives from all layers of society must first formulate a new Constitution before elections should be held. Out of this struggle emerged the 2012 Constitution, a document deeply influenced by Islamist political ideas and goals. Dissatisfied with the proceedings, the non-Islamists walked out of the Constitutional Assembly before the Constitution was finalized. In attempts to reconcile the alienated non-Islamist factions, and heal a divided Egyptian society, the Egyptian Constitution of 2014 was created. All efforts were made to avoid a similar walk-out from Islamist factions. Various political actors were interviewed during, and shortly after the 2014 constitutional formation process. This book is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the discussions and debates surrounding the formation of the 2014 Constitution. This book follows and complements the previous books in the series on recent religious and political developments in Egypt, in particular Vol. 3 The Sharia as the Main Source of Legislation? (2012), Vol. 8 Rise and Fall of the Muslim Brotherhood 2011-2013 (2016), Vol. 9 From Ruling to Opposition 2011-2013 (2017).