Holy crap

Egypt constitution draft to be finished Wednesday | Reuters

Nov 28 (Reuters) - The head of the assembly drafting Egypt's new constitution said the final draft would be finished on Wednesday, and three other members of the assembly told Reuters the document would be put to a vote on Thursday.

"We will start now and finish today, God willing," Hossam el-Gheriyani, the assembly speaker, said at the start of a meeting of the constitutional assembly in Cairo. He said Thursday would be a "great day", without elaborating, and called on the members who had withdrawn from the body to return.

Even if it's approved tomorrow, there has to be a referendum on it. Victory is not guaranteed and a referendum will take at least a couple of weeks to organize. The supervisory commission to run it would be difficult to form, because it has to include senior judges who would likely boycott it, and judges are supposed to also be present at polling stations. All this points to a royal mess, a constitution that has no legitimacy among a big part of the public, and gives the opportunity to the Salafis — whose votes the Brothers now need to approve the latest draft — to introduce modifications to the text. 

I wonder if there are Constituent Assembly members left who oppose this — they might delay the process through a technicality, creating enough time for the SCC to rule (one way or the other) on the legality of the Assembly.

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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.