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Archive for December 18th, 2012

Morsi amends Egypt constitution to shrink voters turnout? Are you voting NO?

An amendment to Egypt’s referendum laws on Monday is banning voters from casting their ballots except in constituencies where they are registered confirmed President Mohammed Morsi. And Morsi is going ahead with the controversial referendum.

Why this amendment?

Mohannad Sabry posted from Cairo on Dec 11. 2012:

The decision to amend Egypt’s referendum law to prohibit absentee balloting seems designed to ensure passage of the controversial draft constitution supported by President Mohammed Morsi

The abrupt amendment of the referendum laws that were drawn by the interim military government in 2011 meant that the number of citizens voting on Egypt’s postrevolution constitution — the first to be written since the 1971 constitution that consolidated Hosni Mubarak’s 30 years of dictatorship — will significantly shrink.

Only 4 days before voters cast their ballots, questions were raised about the intent behind the amendments, as millions of Egyptians are forced to leave their hometowns in search of jobs and better living standards.

The southern coast of the Sinai Peninsula is Egypt’s main example of those who will be excluded from the referendum by the new law.

Some 300,000 workers, who come from every governorate across the country, are employed by hundreds of hotels, resorts and other tourist facilities in the towns of Sharm El-Sheikh, Taba, Dahab and Newiba.

Shortly before the 2012 presidential elections that brought Morsi to power, Sinai’s tourism sector workers threatened to strike if they weren’t allowed to cast absentee ballots in polling stations close to their work places.

Judge Ahmed Sallam, official spokesman of the Ministry of Justice, said that “such measurements were applied to guarantee fairness and transparency throughout the December 15 referendum.”

Monday’s amendment was an addition to the significant legal, administrative and executive failure in planning the constitutional referendum.

The election and referendum laws applied in the March 2011 referendum, November 2011 parliament elections and the June 2012 presidential elections failed to set a minimum voters turnout that if not met the electoral process becomes invalid.

Under such laws, the results of an election process are accepted even if the turnout is only one million voters, a semi-blind process that only sees numerical figures but fails to reflect national will.

President Morsi was elected with about 12.3 million votes in a country of around 90 million citizens and more than 50 million registered voters.

Abdelsattar El-Balshi, a prominent lawyer who filed a lawsuit appealing the candidacy of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Khairat El-Shater before the June 2012 presidential elections, told Al-Monitor:

“It is not a matter of 51% wins, Morsi and his government apparently don’t understand that Egyptians are seeking a constitution that will satisfy the hopes of decades to come. The minimum turnout should match what is applied in parliament when voting on laws.

“If passing or amending a law requires the votes of two thirds of parliament then you should as well grant that to the public who originally elected members of the legislative authority,” El-Balshi continued.

Meanwhile, the judiciary’s capability to administrate a nationwide referendum remains uncertain amid spreading boycott calls by judges and prosecutors who viewed Morsi’s Nov. 22 decree that granted him immunity as an unprecedented violation on the judiciary.

Morsi’s decision on Dec. 9 to annul his controversial decree after massive opposition protests and bloody clashes across the country failed to absorb the judiciary’s anger.

Judge Ahmed El-Zend, head of the independent Judges Club, announced in a news conference Tuesday morning: “90% of Egypt’s judges refuse to take part in administrating the constitutional referendum.”

Judge Zakaria Abdelaziz, former head of the Judges Club, told the local Al-Jazeera Live Egypt Tuesday:

“If the number of judges participating does not reach the 11,000 needed to cover the nationwide polling stations, then the referendum could be held in two phases or polling stations could be combined.”

Abdelaziz denied El-Zend’s claims and called on judges to refrain from boycotting.

No official statements regarding the number of participating judges were made by either the Ministry of Justice or the Elections Committee overseeing the referendum.

On Tuesday, tens of thousands demonstrated in Cairo to either support President Morsi’s insistence on holding the constitutional referendum on Saturday Dec. 15 or to condemn him for turning a blind eye on demands of millions of opposition members across the country.

The opposition’s front included dozens of leftist, liberal and democratic parties that did not endorse Morsi in the first round of elections in June 2012.

In the second round, he managed to garner 7 million of the 17 million votes that originally went to his competitors.

Tarek Hosni, a political analyst, told Al-Monitor:

“All those votes that didn’t go directly to Morsi in the first round of presidential elections will be against the constitution, except for an estimated 1 million Salafists who voted for Abdelmonem Abolfotoh but returned and continue to support Morsi. Those are all indicators that national consensus was never reached over this constitution and that Morsi is turning a blind eye on the opposition, he is struggling for 51% of the voters to pass the constitution, regardless what they represent or which sect of the community they come from.”

Hosni believes that rushing to end a political crisis he instigated, Morsi left no time for dialogue, consensus, or even preparation of laws and practical measures to guarantee a fair referendum that reflects the public’s will.

Hosni said: “And if this crippled document they call constitution passes, it will barely represent less than a quarter of Egypt”” end of article

On another note:

Khaled Abdullah published on De. 15:

Soldiers stand guard as people wait outside a polling center to vote in referendum on tge new constitution of Egypt in Cairo

The National Salvation Front – Egypt’s main opposition coalition – said on Saturday that the number and intensity of violations in the constitutional referendum suggest that there is an intention to rig the vote.

Reports produced by the Front’s operation room suggested that the violations were occurring all over the country.

The opposition group accused the Muslim Brotherhood of trying to “pass the Brotherhood constitution,” calling on all authorities to bear full responsibility to guarantee the transparency of the vote.

It called on the people to vote “no” in the referendum on the controversial charter and prevent rigging attempts.

This content is from :Aswat Masriya Note 1: Aswat Masriya is a free website. Everyone is encouraged to use the content produced by Aswat Masriya journalists, as long as the website is credited and a link back to the website is included. Content from our content partners or Reuters cannot be republished without permission

Note 2: Mohannad Sabry is an Egyptian journalist based in Cairo. He has written for McClatchy Newspapers and The Washington Times, served as managing editor of Global Post’s reporting fellowship “Covering the Revolution” in Cairo as well as a contributor to its special reports “Tahrir Square” and “Egypt: the military, the people.”

Sabry was nominated to the 2011 Livingston Award for International Reporting. Born in Saudi Arabia and raised around the world, Sabry returned to Cairo in 2001 and has been covering Egypt since 2005. Follow him on Twitter: @mmsabry.

It’s all wrong: Reality isn’t matching my expectations...

They say: “Live long and witness miracles…”. Wrong

The only time, every one of us witnessed miracles is when we were toddlers: Everything was possible and elephants could fly, no question asked.

Afterward, the world went downhill, burdened with warped expectations.

There was a breathing phase as kids: We were ready to try all kinds of games. Everything was a game and we wanted to play. Our only disappointment was when ordered to taking breaks from playing. No bitterness involved, you are forgiven, we can resume the game…

There are materialist nihilists: “I’m starting this whole world from scratch. I’m sorting out the fundamental facts, the basic facts of life and nature… and I’m building my worldview based on pure facts…” The trouble with these materialist nihilists is that they eventually end up immersing a God in the equation, a God standing tall and anchoring the entire fact structure

There are the spiritual nihilists: “I’m beginning my system from pure spiritual ethical and moral standards, fundamentally good and representing mankind essence and the purpose of the living…” Trouble with spiritual nihilists is, as they grab power, they harvest the souls, the old fashion way: They destroy lives, physically and psychologically, in order to end up with material facts, called products, raw materials, zombies of citizens… On the ground that “Power is negotiated on material wealth…”

More frequently than not, spiritual nihilists are confounded with anarchists, presumably the rational forces in society, opposing religious set of beliefs and status quo system of standards and life-style…

In their turn, Anarchists are confounded with the uneducated who read from a single Book and obey jokers telling them that they’ll acced in the afterlife after committing suicide attacks and be rewarded with many beautiful virgins and rivers of delicious juices…

Many educated people who read from a single book opt to patch on a “worthy cause” to their decision to commit suicide from disappointment of this fickle reality…

There comes a time that we try to reconcile reality with deviant expectation and we discover a premise that says: “Reality and expectations are both pure illusions…I must admit that this “illusion premise” is powerful and ingenious: After all we are all goners, and dust to dust and…

The problem with that hypothesis is that trying to process the countless daily irregularities and resolving the illusion factors is contrary to living a sane life: We have no life anymore, and we are cornered to just satisfy the consistency in this logic. And we say: “What if this logical premise is tainted and represents the highest form of illusion? Am I confusing rational thinking with logical systems and procedures?”

Many of us resolve this game by stating: “If only one of my expectations overcomes reality, then my life will be fulfilled…” Sort of saying: “I have high Hope that one of my expectations will come true, and this is the real meaning of living...” And why not?

That’s a great pragmatic attitude. Anyway, it is a lost cause to try to achieve all of our expectations, in a , considering all the limitations we have to cope with…

If we add the millions of fulfilled expectations, assuming that they are varied and increasing in levels of complexity,then we may have hope that mankind is on the right track ethically and morally, and gearing up to catch up with mankind technological know-how…

And why not? That could be a good rationale to claiming that this is the purpose of democracy, liberty to all, freedom of life-style, freedom of expression, freedom for a wide array of opportunities…

The real martyrs are the educated people who decided to refuse playing the game: “This reality of cruelties, humiliation, indignities, suffering…does not match my expectation. And I won’t have part of it…” And they commit suicide. A few of them harvest scores of souls, innocent souls or enemy souls, souls that were doomed anyway…

A few educated people decide to laugh out this irrational and absurd reality and write about their life experiences. They camouflage their autobiographies in fiction novels.

Many more of us go into politics, right after someone tell them that they are good orator… And they lie through their teeth convincing the constituencies that they are here to listen to their wishes and wants, the pr


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