A new Egyptian constitution will be written and endorsed by a referendum this year. An interesting aspect of the process is that the pro-US military dictatorship does not have a majority of the constituent assembly that will write the constitution. There does not seem to be a mechanism by which the pro-US dictatorship would be able to ensure that the military remains accountable to the US as it is now rather than to Egyptian voters after the new constitution has been ratified.
Mostafa Bakri, independent MP and head of the committee in charge of supervising the vote-counting process, indicated that as many as 589 parliamentarians participated in electing the 100-member constituent assembly, half of which will be made up of MPs, the other half of figures from outside parliament. “Until 9 pm,” Bakri added, “only 250 votes had been counted. It is not expected that the counting will be finished until the early hours of Sunday 25 March.” Employees of the People’s Assembly’s Information Centre and the Central Agency for Statistics and General Mobilisation are in charge of processing the votes. “They will see how many votes each candidate got,” said Bakri.This is a hopeful time. We will see if this actually is the year that those in Egypt who believe their government should be accountable to Egyptians are able to wrest control of their country from the US and parties in Egypt that are subject to US influence.
Yet hours before the process was completed, the names of members were made public through a list distributed to members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) distributing copies of a list of names from parliament and outside, asking their colleagues to vote for that list. Early results show that the Islamist forces - mainly the FJP and the Salafist Nour Party - will dominate, with some 70 per cent of the assembly’s 100 members. The 50 MPs include 25 FJP MPs, 11 MPs from the Salafist Nour Party and 14 independent and non-Islamist party MPs. The 50 non-parliamentarians include constitutional law professors, prominent public figures, chairmen of political parties, religious clerics and others belonging to Islamist forces.
In the meantime, Egypt is continuing its policies of attempting to harm Hamas for the sake of Israel. Those policies are popular with Americans like Barack Obama but unpopular with the people of Egypt. For now, Egypt's government is accountable to Barack Obama and to not Egyptians. But there is cause to be optimistic that this relationship is now coming to an end.