Saturday, January 18, 2014

Statement from the Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy: The Farce of the Coup Constitution

In these days, Egyptians worldwide are commemorating the anniversary of the January 25th 2011 revolution.  We all remember how this revolution impressed everyone with its peacefulness and inspired the world with its strength.  The results of this glorious revolution included the first ever democratic procedure in Egypt’s history and the election of the first ever democratically elected civilian president in Egypt’s history.
This year, while we relive the memories of this great revolution, Egypt is living a state of complete collapse of its democratic systems as a result of the July 3rd military coup that brutally ended the fledgling democratic experience.  The military coup canceled the results of five free votes (two (2) Referenda, two (2) parliamentary elections and the presidential elections), suspended the constitution approved by 63% of Egyptian voters, and kidnapped the legal president of Egypt Dr. Mohamed Morsi.
In an attempt to attain recognition before the international community, the coup government appointed unelected committee to write a new constitution draft.  This illegal committee eliminated all the Egyptian factions opposing the military coup.  They wrote the constitution draft in a politically-tense environment contaminated with gross human rights violations as testified to by many international organizations.
The military-appointed government moved to put the controversial constitution document to a referendum for Egyptians inside and outside the country.  More than 85% of voters boycotted this referendum which was carried out amid a strong propaganda campaign from the state-controlled media to guide the voters to say “yes”.  Anyone who dared to express criticism for this illegal document was arrested.  During the two days of voting, twelve Egyptians were murdered by the coup forces and scores were injured during peaceful protests to condemn the referendum.
We, member of the Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD), reject this constitution draft, the results of the referendum, and any subsequent steps based on the referendum, for the following reasons:
1)       The illegal constitution draft makes the military above the state.  The referendum legalizes this situation, gives the army the chance to eliminate any democratically elected government in the future.
2)      The “road map” suggested by coup was imposed by the military and was never a result of a national consensus.
3)      This flawed constitution document is a result of an illegal non-elected committee that does not represent Egyptians.
4)      Thousands of Egyptian martyrs who were murdered by the military gave their lives to protect the democracy that this constitution document destroys.  This document effectively establishes a military fascism in which Egyptians are denied the basic human and political rights guaranteed by international conventions.
5)      The climate in which the referendum was carried out is toxic.   Most leaders of the opposition were imprisoned and only military-controlled media was allowed to operate.  Independent journalists were arrested or denied the right to freely report the incidents inside the country.
6)      There was no independent monitoring of the voting process.  The military and its allies had full control on the voting ballots.  All respectable international organization like the Carter institution have declined to monitor the voting process because they are convinced that it was fraudulent process.
The ECCD reiterates its stance that the January 25th revolution against the new oppressors will not stop.  The ECCD will continue to support the people of Egypt inside the country until the revolution achieves its targets of freedom, democracy and social justice for all Egyptian.

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