‘Slow Egyptian constitution revision needed to avoid Mubarak-like successor to stay indefinitely’

February 26th, 2011 - 5:19 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 26 (ANI): The Egyptian military might be planning to submit a revised constitution to a referendum within two months, but a constitutional democracy expert has warned that Egyptian people should proceed slowly towards constitutional reform because a hasty move could all but ensure ‘Mubarak’s successor to stay in power indefinitely.’

“The main objective of Egypt’s military is to maintain order. Unlike previous Presidents, who cultivated popular support, Hosni Mubarak ruled through terror and suppression of the social structure. Now that he is gone, he leaves behind a ravaged societal framework that may have trouble supporting a constitutional democracy. The military knows this, and there is a real risk that they may not return power to the people after all,” David Williams, an expert in constitutional democracy at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, said.

Although “Egypt is rebuilding its social structure, two or three months is too soon to complete the process. They can’t go back to the old constitution, because it would simply ensure that Mubarak’s successor stay in power indefinitely,” he added.

Insisting that the referendum should adopt short-term amendments to return power to a civilian government, Williams cautioned that the process should not end there.

He also suggested that Egyptians should give up the current presidential structure and adopt a parliamentary form of government.

“In countries such as Egypt, where the presidential system has prevented democracy from taking hold, the only way to move forward is to choose another system. Egypt is emerging from the deep freeze. The government needs to look forward, think long-term, and take time to build the social structures that will support a true constitutional democracy,” Williams said. (ANI)

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