Sunday, December 16, 2012

15 reasons why a 'YES' vote on Egypt's Draft Constitution makes more sense

Based on the above links to the constitution in Arabic and English, the following reasons are why a 'YES' vote makes more sense.
  1. There is nothing in the Constitution that suggests, explicitly or implicitly, that Islamic organisations will directly benefit from the Constitution itself, nor are there any special privileges given to them.
  2. Contrary to what people have said, if Islamic organisations gain more influence in politics, women's statuses are elevated and protected with regards to the following principle: "there is no dignity for a country in which women are not honored; women are the sisters of men and partners in all national gains and responsibilities." as well as in Article 10 which states: "The State shall provide special care and protection to female breadwinners, divorced women and widows."
  3. The Constitution gives the right for Christians and Jews to worship freely and implement their own rules based on their faiths as mentioned in Articles 3 and 43, which also provides them with the right to choose their own spiritual leaders.
  4. There is now a clear separation of control. The real power of the government will be handed to the people through the House of Representatives and removed from the President and any other executive positions, as mentioned in Article 116.
  5. There are no dictatorial powers bestowed on the President. He does not have the will to dissolve Parliament at his own discretion, and even if he tries to push for a dissolution, it must be put to a public referendum. If the majority disagree with the President's decision and support the legitimacy of Parliament, then the President has lost his credibility in government and must be forced to resign. Article 127
  6. In the event that Parliament does actually get dissolved, power of legislation is handed to the Senate (Shura Council) as priority above the President as mentioned in Article 131.
  7. If the President declares a state of emergency to give him temporary powers, it must be approved by Parliament, and has an expiry of 6 months. If it needs to be extended, only the people, through public referendum, can agree for an extension of emergency powers. Article 148.
  8. Police can no longer arrest civilians and keep them detained indefinitely without the right to fair trial. They are obliged to provide legitimate reasons for their arrests and treat the detainees with respect and dignity without harm or interrogation. Articles 35-36.
  9. Internal affairs can no longer tap phones or spy on civilians with internet technology using their own discretion. People's privacy is now sacred as mentioned in Article 38.
  10. People have the freedom to voice their opinion (without insult, or risk to national security) whether verbally, through blogs or even via Media outlets and the press, which is a new concept for Egyptians. Article 45, 48, and 215
  11. Education is planned to improve, and illiteracy is planned to be removed. Article 61
  12. Free healthcare services to all poor citizens, as mentioned in Article 62, which is something the United States haven't even been able to provide.
  13. The government is willing to implement a minimum wage plan, with all workers having equal rights and safety in the workforce. Article 63.
  14. Civilians can no longer be tried in Military courts if they commit a civil crime. Article 198.
  15. The transitional period is solid, providing the Shura Council, NOT the president, full authority of legislation for the current transition towards a new elected Parliament. Article 230
The arguments that oppose the Constitution have not been strong enough to convince me to vote otherwise.