Egypt is just weeks ahead of the referendum on the newly amended constitution after Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy assured that the referendum would take place during the second half of January.
What if the Egyptians vote ‘no’ for constitutional amendments?
By-ALI ABDEL RAHMAN
Tuesday ,10 December 2013
As the referendum will be held amid attempts of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi to mobilize people to vote “no,” while the National Salvation Front and other civil forces call people to vote “yes,” an important question pops up: “what if Egyptians reject the new constitution?”
The road map announced by Minister of Defense Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in July 3 did not explain what would happen in case the constitutional amendments are rejected. The constitution related parts of the road map only state “temporarily suspending the 2012 constitution and forming a committee to amend the 2012 constitution.”
The 2012 constitution was suspended accordingly and the 50-member committee tasked with amending the constitution was formed. The committee was deemed by many as the most prominent feature of the road map.
The suggested scenarios for what would happen if the Egyptians reject the constitution are not more than personal opinions of some politicians and law experts. Some considered amending the constitution a dangerous process because the road map did not include possible follow-up scenarios.
Regarding the scenarios, some expected the 50-member committee’s task to be extended or to be re-established for more compatibility among its members.
Others said that rejecting the constitutional amendments would lead to the return of the 1971 constitution which is deemed as a good one, while the problem was its bad application.
Some civil forces excluded the possibility of a rejection of the constitutional amendments as they expected the approval rates between 65 percent and 70 percent. They see compatibility with the new constitution as a popular referendum on the legislation of the June 30 protests.
Some of them also demanded the inclusion of a transitional article in the constitution that grants the president the right to add amendments to the road map in order to carry out presidential elections first due to Egypt’s current circumstances.
Maybe all of them agreed that in case of voting “no,” the parliamentary and presidential elections will be postponed for few weeks at least.
Others expected the Brotherhood to use a “no” vote for mobilizing people to prove society’s refusal of the road map.