How to Confront Constitutional Amendments in Egypt

Source: Egyptian Institute for Studies

Author(s): Khaled Fouad

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This study seeks exploration of the common ground that may unite the different Egyptian political forces and build a unified national stance, restore the spirit of joint action between these forces, and overcome differences on controversial issues that are difficult to agree upon, taking advantage of opposition to these constitutional amendments. This can come through mobilization of masses for participation in the expected referendum and voting “no” or through a positive boycott of the referendum, regardless of its results. Though it is difficult to imagine any outcome contrary to what the regime wants, however the momentum resulting from such a move could be a lever for wider popular movement in the future towards the desired change in line with the objectives of the January revolution.

In this context, the study seeks assessment of the two options of participation in the referendum or boycotting it through in depth reading of previous experiences, where the opposition adopted participation in the referendum and voting “no” (Chile 1988) or boycotting the referendum altogether (South Africa 1983). The study also presents an in-depth reading of the current Egyptian scene and attempts to explore the optimal stance, taking into account the present variables.

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