Egypt's draft constitution, translated

The full translation of the official draft of the new Egyptian constitution — which will probably be significantly revised in the next two weeks — has been made available by IDEA. You can get it here [PDF] and marvel at how badly it is written, starting from article 1:

The Arab Republic of Egypt is an independent unified and sovereign State that shall not accept division. The Republic enjoys a democratic system of government. The Egyptian people are part of the Arab and Islamic nation and are proud to belong to the Nile Basin and Africa and of its connections to Asia, and contribute positively to human civilization. 

It forgot to mention that they are ahsan nas and that their hair smells really good. 

I wish I had time for more serious commentary — the bits where it contradicts itself, the runway conservative populism, and many grey areas — but I simply don't.

Update: The Atlantic Council's Egypt Source has an alternative translation.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.