From the Editors
The New York Times says Jadaliyya "Brings New Life to Arab Studies." Read about it by clicking here.
[The following video is part of a series of clips produced by the Mosireen collective to promote greater awareness around the draft constitution currently under consideration in national referendum in Egypt. The full series can be accessed by clicking here.]
Political researcher Ibrahim El Houdaiby and Hossam Bahgat, Director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, explain how the draft constitution puts the Army and its extensive industrial activities—estimated to be between twenty-five and forty percent of the Egyptian economy—beyond the scrutiny of elected bodies. If the draft constitution passes, parliament would not have the right to discuss or even be briefed on the details of the military’s budget. El Houdaiby and Bahgat discuss the economic consequences of ring-fencing the military economy from the national budget and its alarming relationship with the question of forced labor and conscription in the constitution. They conclude that the draft constitution grants greater powers to the Army and military institutions than any other Egyptian constitution in history, entrenching the Army deep within the legal system, and striking at the heart of the revolution and widespread calls for a civil state.
In the draft constitution, the National Defense Council is the only body that has the right to know the details of the military budget and to issue military edicts. In a departure from previous constitutions, the majority of the National Defense Council will be made up of people drawn from the military and a minority from civilians, of whom only three will be elected. Consequently, the National Defense Council will be above the reach of parliament and other elected bodies, who will have no right to discuss or even be briefed on the details of the military budget.
El Houdaiby and Bahgat argue that this is designed to shield the military economy and the high-ranking officers who benefit from it from scrutiny, further entrenching an economic system that pushes the majority of Egyptians below the poverty line. They point to the privileging of mandatory conscription in the draft constitution and the deletion of a clause preventing forced labor. They argue that the draft constitution protects a military economy, which thrives on the forced labor of thousands of conscripts in army industries (e.g. food factories) that have very little to do with national defense or military activities.
In an interesting insight into the writing of the constitution, El Houdaiby describes the combative approach taken by representatives of the Armed Forces in the Constituent Assembly. When it was suggested that an extra elected civilian be included in the National Defense Council, the military representative’s response was quite simply, “for every one of your people, we will put another one of ours”.
El Houdaiby and Bahgat conclude that more than any other constitution in Egyptian history, the current draft constitution puts the Armed Forces and their financial activities in a position of privilege and authority above elected bodies and beyond the will of the people.
For more details please watch the video below (Click “CC” for English subtitles)
If you prefer, email your comments to email@example.com.
Hot on Facebook
Jadalicious / جدلشس
“Rethinking post-colonialism ... demands that we re-conceptualize how colonialism is invoked [...]. It means remembering that identity politics was a tool of colonialism picked up by post-colonial regimes.”click | email | tweet
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- Turkey Media Roundup (October 21)
- ضياء الدين ساردار: مطارحة الإسلام والمستقبل
- هل يمكن إنقاذ العراق؟
- Operation Protective Edge and Legal Remedies
- O.I.L. Media Roundup (20 October)
- Hydrogen Senior Project Exhibition
- Last Week on Jadaliyya (October 13-19)
- Syria Media Roundup (October 20)
- استقصاء السماء
- « Hamel dégage ! » : Les policiers algériens et les fissures de l'ordre
- Debt and Obligation in Contemporary Ramallah
- Liberalizmin tasfiyesi ve Ortadogu'da alacakaranlik
- جدلية في عامها الرابع
- Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution (George Mason University, 20 October 2014)
- Is the Center for Jewish Life Stifling Free Speech on Campus?
- Hassan Khan in Conversation with Mohamed Abdelkarim
- In Memory of Suphi Nejat Agirnasli
- إشكالية المجتمع المدني في المغرب
- Press Release: Saudi Death Sentence against Shia Leader Is Politically Motivated
- الانحناء على جثة عمّان
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
LA Event: Spotlight on Egypt (23 October 2014) http://t.co/2r1x5vB2Ub
10 hours ago
Turkey Media Roundup (October 21) http://t.co/RqXX3Lp8Fw
10 hours ago
O.I.L. Media Roundup (20 October) http://t.co/yHjEnz9kJH
10 hours ago
محمد العربي: ضياء الدين ساردار: مطارحة الاسلام والمستقبل http://t.co/tUHw4tqR4h
11 hours ago
Check out 'StatusHour' live on Ustream! http://t.co/6NtRo46NzG
yesterday at 1:40 PM