History repeats itself once again as some political and media vultures of are starting a slow yet an organized campaign seeking the amendment of the Egyptian constitution approved by the Egyptian nation in 2014 to extend the presidential terms from four years to six years per term. If passed, this would provide President Al-Sisi with four extra years should he win a second term in the upcoming presidential elections.
These shameful attempts to bypass the Ironclad clauses of the constitution and extend the terms by two years for a total of six years per term instead of the current four year terms are an assured road to hell if implemented. Despite that the clause governing the Presidential terms is held by an Ironclad one that prohibits any form of change or alterations under any pretexts, there are still among parliament representatives including Representative Ismail Nasr Al Din and others who wish to desecrate the constitution by an attempt to extend that term thus rendering all what has been stipulated then voted for by an overwhelming majority of Egyptians in the constitution referendum in 2014 as useless.
Men for all Seasons:
These heinous attempts will only serve the Islamists claims against the incumbent President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi that he has absolute power and a dictator. It will certainly not benefit the President’s legacy regardless of any achievements he may attain in the proposed four extra years. On the contrary, it will taint these legacies should such a shameful proposed amendment passes in the parliament or even in referendum. Among that group of political vultures are the same groups who pledged allegiance to former President Mubarak for long years and then disavowed him after the tides changed post the January 2011 revolution.
Certainly, they couldn’t care less about the nation highest interests democracy or a president’s legacy but they definitely care a lot to be among the inner circle of close confidants of the President as long as he stays in power. These types of men for all seasons TV anchors, journalists, politicians, etc represent a clear and present danger to Egypt’s future and stability in a no less capacity than the terrorist masterminds of Muslim Brotherhood and their affiliates who seek to destroy the nation from within to rule it. All of the above thrive within dictatorships and cannot survive in free democratic nation where the power transition is done in a civilized manner befitting a great nation such as Egypt.
Another ridiculous reason they are propagating to move forward with these proposed amendments is that that terms should accommodate the President’ economic plans for the country which indeed a farce. In any country an elected president should place his economic plans to fit the Presidential terms whether they are 4 years or more depending on the constitution of that country and not vice versa. This ludicrous reason would mean that any future presidential candidate could claim that he has economic plans that could last 20 years for example and then constitution should be amended for him to be given two terms with 10 years each. Once again it is the President that to adjust the economic plans according to the constitution and not the opposite.
These vultures have not the historical lesson from the smooth Power transition in 2014 from Interim President, the Honorable Judge Adly Mansour to elected President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi which was done in the most civilized manner since the establishment of the Republic in 1954. That transition should have served as an example to follow in Egypt’s political life from that date onwards to the next elected president following President Al Sisi. Any tampering with this process regardless of the causes is an imminent danger to the Egyptian state which cannot be allowed by any means.
The former 1971 constitution of Egypt originally included a two term presidency clause with 6 years each and it was approved during late president Al Sadat first term in power. However, following the Camp David peace treaty with Israel in 1979 and the opposition against it led by leftists and Islamists, some political advisors of President Sadat advised him to have a minor yet a catastrophic amendment on the two terms clause to include the statement “A maximum of two terms or for further terms” which rendered the two terms rule as null and void.
Sadat’s had personal plans to step down in 1982 after the completion of the Israeli withdrawal from Sinai. However, his advisors claimed that an opposition leader may rise to the presidency and cancel the treaty with Israel thus jeopardizing Sadat long years of negotiations and peace treaty. In fear of this unrealistic possibility happening, President Sadat passed the amendment and it was approved in the parliament in a very ominous day for Egypt. What occurred later is that Egypt’s war and peace hero was assassinated in October 6th 1981 and never had the chance to benefit from the amendment. However, his vice president and successor former President Mubarak benefited greatly from that amendment and ruled Egypt for the next 30 years till 2011.
Accordingly, fear of the unknown has created a constitutional and political disaster for Egypt that ended up with a revolt in 2011 which Egypt’s is still paying the price for till this day in every aspect. Egyptians cannot afford to repeat that ominous past for the sake of two extra years per term which eventually will open the door for further amendments in the very number of terms so instead of two terms, it will be three terms or indefinitely such as the former constitution of 1971 ended with. There is no logical or political reason to do that especially that the President has another full term should he win the 2018 elections which is he is poised to do given his immense popularity.
The Egyptian Constitution is not tailor-made document fit for one president or another and every single clause in it has to be respected in order to guarantee the desired political stability. Amending the constitution clauses especially those concerning the presidential terms or years is the gate to hell that should be kept sealed shut. Those who are concerned about stability of Egypt or its economy should know that only a proper democratic system which secures the peaceful transition of power between elected Presidents is the sole guarantee for a flourishing economy, security and prosperity in general.
Moreover, should this heinous amendment pass it will provide immense unwarranted credibility to the terrorists propaganda against Egypt of the past few years. These amendments would be a gift to every enemy of the Egyptian nation to prove they were right all along and that their vile terrorism was some form of fighting for freedom. The President and all the men of honour of this great nation should never allow this to happen and provide a leeway for terrorist propaganda from the likes of Al Jazeerah even carry a shred of truth under any pretext. Any further extensions for the presidential years or terms will haunt President AL Sisi and open a Pandora box of trouble from International media that were against his presidency and now they will be given new ammo after they were finally discredited.
Sanctity of Constitutions:
Discussing such proposed amendments on the presidential terms let alone approving it is a desecration to the constitution and desecration to thousands of Egyptians who died for a hard earned freedom and fighting terrorism to pave the way for a free Egyptian state. That Free State should be free from terrorism and tyranny under any religious or political pretext. Moreover, attempts to discuss any of these preposterous amendments is jeopardizing the state national security and eliminating all of the June30th revolution political gains.
No other achievement for Al-Sisi will supersede cementing the pillars of a democratic political life and peaceful transition of power. Late South African leader and Nobel prize laureate Nelson Mandela didn’t simply secure his great place in history by leading his country into three decades of struggle to end the vile apartheid system in South Africa, but his true greatness were manifested in ruling South Africa for only one term thus setting the precedence for a healthy democratic political life to last forever. Such has been the trait of great leaders and President Al Sisi will hopefully follow that path for he has already steered Egypt through dark times and an ongoing vicious war on terrorism while attempting to rebuild Egypt’s economy on modern basis.
Moreover, the President has repeatedly confirmed that he will not stay in power for a single day more than what is already stipulated in 2014 constitution. Accordingly, President Al-Sisi is urged to stop this political blasphemy at bay and prove once again that the future of Egypt’s democracy and stability are his paramount goals which will be indeed his crowning achievement.
For any civilized and democratic nation, the Constitution is the holy book of politics and defiling it in such manner is the equivalent of a political blasphemy.