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H. Aly, N. Leihs, Egyptian Constitution Timeline, 13.02.2011-31.01.2014

OIS 4 (2016) Media Culture in Transformation: Political Communication, Social Networking and Transition in Egypt

Compiled by Hend Aly and Nadia Leihs

Egyptian Constitution Timeline, 13 February 2011 to 31 January 2014

This timeline shows major changes relating to the constitutional debates between February 2011 and January 2014 (when the referendum on 2014 constitution took place). Unrelated events are not included. The timeline is part of the research project, "Media Culture Transformation: Political Communication, Social Movements and Transition in Egypt". The project was hosted by the Cairo Office of the Orient-Institut Beirut and funded by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) in Germany.

2011


13 February

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is ousted, following the massive protests that began on 25 January 2011. He had ruled the country since 1981. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), headed by Field Marshal Mohammed Tantawy, assumes power to rule Egypt. In a constitutional proclamation (https://web.archive.org/web/20140407220444/http://www.worldanalysis.net/modules/news/article.php?storyid=1742) (الإعلان الدستور) (http://www.sis.gov.eg/Ar/Templates/Articles/tmpArticles.aspx?ArtID=44103#.VpEN2E-j_Cv), SCAF suspends the constitution of 1971, dissolves Parliament and calls for an end to strikes and protests. It appoints a new government, which retains most of Mubarakʼs ministers in their positions.

15 February

SCAF assigns a committee of experts to prepare in non-public sessions amendments to the 1971 constitution (لجنة التعديلات الدستورية) (http://www.sis.gov.eg/Ar/Templates/Articles/tmpArticles.aspx?ArtID=44155). The committee is headed by the retired judge Tarek El-Bishry, who is known for his Islamist orientation.

26 February

The committee proposes nine amendments to the 1971 constitution (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/26/us-egypt-constitution-changes-idUSTRE71P28520110226?sp=true), mainly dealing with election procedures.

19 March

SCAF organizes a referendum (http://carnegieendowment.org/2011/03/16/overview-of-egypt-s-constitutional-referendum/1w5z). Activists from social movements and liberal political groups call to boycott this referendum and for advice on drafting an entirely new constitution. After heated public debate about the proposed amendments to paragraphs 75, 76, 77, 88, 93, 139, 148, 179 and 189, as well as about whether to amend the old constitution or write a new one, 77 per cent of voters in the referendum approve the amendments (http://referendum2011.elections.eg/referendum-results.html). The newly amended constitution comes into force, but is to be redrafted after a new Parliament and President are elected. The voter turnout in the referendum is 41 per cent.

23 March

The Cabinet appointed by SCAF approves a law criminalizing protests and strikes.

30 March

SCAF issues a Constitutional Declaration (http://www.egypt.gov.eg/english/laws/constitution/) (الإعلان الدستوري) (http://www.sis.gov.eg/Ar/Templates/Articles/tmpArticles.aspx?CatID=1685)consisting of 63 articles, which has the effect of rendering the referendum of 19 March irrelevant. Most of the articles are from the 1971 constitution, in addition to the clauses amended in the referendum. The document also announces the formation of a provisional Constituent Assembly (CA) that will write a new constitution after parliamentary elections.

16. April

The Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) rules to dissolve the National Democratic Party (NDP), which had been used by the Mubarak regime as its power base. Four days later, SCAF approves (http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/Templates/Articles/tmpArticles.aspx?ArtID=54952) this disbandment.

16 June

Mohammed El-Baradei publishes a document (http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/15097/Egypt/Politics-/Baradeis-Bill-of-Rights-open-for-Egyptian-debate.aspx) (وثيقة البرادعي) (http://www.almasryalyoum.com/node/471625) outlining the basic rights and freedoms that the new constitution should enshrine. Its 11 articles are divided into two sections. The first section discusses the basic principles for regulating Egypt's political system, and the second section defines the human rights and freedoms that Egyptians should enjoy.

21 June

As an answer to El-Baradei, the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar mosque, Professor Ahmed El-Tayeb, calls a meeting of political powers, senior scholars and intellectuals from Al-Azhar. They issue the Al-Azhar document (http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/Templates/Articles/tmpArticles.aspx?ArtID=56424) (وثيقة الأزهر), which proposes 11 principles as a basis for the constitution.

12 July

Reacting to the public debate as well as to rising protests against the slow pace of political transition, SCAF member Major General Mohsen El-Fangary suggests that all parties should agree on a set of supra-constitutional principles to be embodied in the new constitution.

14 July

SCAF assigns Osama El-Ghazaly Harb, President of the Democratic Front Party (DFP), to head a committee to draft the supra-constitutional principles document (وثيقة للمبادئ فوق الدستورية), taking into consideration the drafts proposed by El-Baradei and Al-Azhar.

14. August

The Democratic Alliance, a coalition consisting mostly of Islamist parties, objects to the idea of issuing supra-constitutional principles, arguing that the main guiding constitutional principles have already been discussed.

01. November

Aly El-Selmi, Deputy Prime Minister for Political Affairs, releases a declaration on the fundamental principles for the re-established state, known as the supra-constitutional principles document (http://www.constitutionnet.org/files/2011.11_-_constitutional_principles_document_english.pdf) (وثيقة للمبادئ فوق الدستورية (http://www.constitutionnet.org/files/2011.11_-_constitutional_principles_document_arabic.pdf) or the El-Selmi document. It was intended to guide the writing of the constitution. Although the document was El-Selmi's initiative alone, it was widely considered to be an attempt by SCAF to retain its status. It suggests, among other points, that the military budget should not be publicly known and that SCAF should be the only responsible body for all issues related to the Armed Forces. In addition, it proposes a role for SCAF to defend constitutional legitimacy, and a National Defence Council (NDC) to be responsible for all matters related to the country's security. Regarding constitutional matters, the El-Selmi document puts forward a plan for the Constituent Assembly (CA) charged with drafting the constitution. In this scenario, SCAF is responsible for reviewing the work of the assembly. Disagreements between SCAF and the CA, according to the El-Selmi document, should be referred to the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) Furthermore, it outlines a mechanism for SCAF to appoint a new CA if the draft constitution is not finished within six months. The document is rejected by political parties from all ideological streams.

18. November

Huge protests mobilized by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist currents take place in Tahrir Square on the so-called Friday of the One Demand.

19. November

Aly El-Selmi holds a meeting at the Shura Council building, followed by a press conference. He announces an amended edition (تعديلات) (http://gate.ahram.org.eg/User/Topicsm/6060.aspx) of the supra-constitutional principles document. The various political powers react differently to the amended document. The Islamist currents continue to criticize it without publicly protesting, while other moderate consensus-seeking figures try to achieve reconciliation.

19-24 November

Protests by secular and revolutionary forces start in solidarity with the families of the martyrs who were violently dispersed in Tahrir Square. The protests emphasize revolutionary legitimacy as opposed to legitimacy according to the then law (Mohammed Mahmoud Street clashes). The Ministry of Health (http://gate.ahram.org.eg/News/141141.aspx) states that at least 33 persons die and more than 3,000 are wounded during these clashes in downtown Cairo. The Muslim Brotherhood distances itself from the protests and argues that it is more important to ensure that the coming elections for the People's Assembly (PA) go ahead as planned.

21. November

The SCAF approves the Political Isolation Law, which bans members of the disbanded National Democratic Party (NDP) from active political participation for five years. In early October, in response to public debate, the government had amended the 1952 Treachery Law in order to strip members of the former political elite of their political rights.

27. November

Bowing to public pressure, SCAF decides to bring the presidential elections forward to June 2012 instead of April 2013, but does not reject the El-Selmi document. SCAF accepts the resignation of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and his Cabinet, and appoints Kamal El-Ganzoury to form a new government, a step that sparks new sit-ins and subsequently clashes near the Cabinet office. Field Marshall Tantawy, Minister of Defence and head of SCAF, announces that no one can put pressure on the Armed Forces. Tantawy's legal adviser and SCAF member Major General Mamdouh Shahin asserts that the incoming Parliament cannot dissolve the government or form a new one, as this power belongs to SCAF alone until a new President is elected.

28 November – 11 January 2012

Egypt begins its first parliamentary elections for the People's Assembly (PA), which take place in three rounds amid a climate of ideological polarization and street protests. The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) – the party of the Muslim Brotherhood – wins 43 per cent of the seats and the Salafist party Al-Nour wins 22 per cent. Together they constitute the majority of the PA. Other parties, like Al-Wafd, win scattered seats; the voter turnout exceeds 62 per cent.



2012


23 January

The People's Assembly holds its first session. SCAF officially transfers legislative authority to the PA. According to Article 60 in the Constitutional Declaration that was issued in March 2011, the PA should meet with the Shura Council (the Upper House) in a joint session within six months of its election. In this session, both chambers are tasked with electing a provisional assembly (the Constituent Assembly, CA) composed of 100 members, to prepare a new constitution within six months of its formation.

29 January–22 February

Elections for the Shura Council take place in two stages, with run-offs in several electoral districts. Two thirds of the 264 Shura Council seats (180 seats) are elected. One third are to be appointed by the next President.

25 February

Abdel Moez Ibrahim, head of the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC), announces that the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) has won 58 per cent of the seats in the Shura Council elections, while Al-Nour has won 25 per cent. The voter turnout is less than 10 per cent.

3 March

The Parliament, consisting of the People's Assembly and the Shura Council, holds its first session. The SCAF decree of March 2011 provides a time frame to set up the Constituent Assembly (CA), but does not indicate how to elect its members or ensure their representativeness. These decisions are left for the members of both chambers of Parliament.

24 March

The Parliament elects the members of the CA.

26 March

The announcement of the final list of the 100 members (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/37685.aspx) of the CA shows that half of them were originally members of the PA and 66 belong to Islamist parties, including 50 from the FJP and Al-Nour. The list triggers a heated debate about the need for the CA to be representative of all sectors of Egyptian society, not only of the Islamist majority in both chambers, but also of the diverse political groups that had either won limited seats or even none in the parliamentary elections

28 March

Thirty-five members of the CA withdraw in protest against its unrepresentativeness, and also because of differences about the application of a simple majority vote versus a two-thirds majority voting system in the CA when the vital issue of the draft constitution is voted on. Among them are representatives of Al-Azhar, the Egyptian churches, the SCC and opposition parties, as well as prominent independent figures like Hazem El-Beblawy, Mona Makram Ebeid, Nour Farahat and Ahmed El-Sayed El-Naggar.

10. April

A number of lawyers, including Khaled Aly and Sameh Ashour, file a lawsuit against the Parliament challenging the procedure by which the CA was formed. They argue that nominating PA members contradicts a previous SCC ruling from 1994. The SAC suspends the CA because the role of parliamentarians in writing the constitution had been restricted by the referendum of March 2011 to electing the members of the CA, not nominating themselves to the CA.

18. April

The former chairman of the PA, Mohammed Saad El-Katatny, assigns a Constitutional Affairs Committee (CAC) in Parliament to prepare a report on the criteria for electing members of the CA.

23-24 May

Presidential elections take place after the disqualification of several candidates. The close election results are to be decided in a run-off between Ahmed Shafik, formerly Prime Minister in Mubarak's final days, and Mohammed Morsi, head of the FJP.

31 May

The state of emergency, which lasted 31 years, is now fully lifted.

8 June

Members of Parliament agree on new procedures to select the members of a new CA and start a second voting process.

11 June

The secular Egyptian Bloc parties, including the Free Egyptians Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic party and Al-Tagammu Party, initiate a walk-out from the CA in order to allow a greater representation of women, young people and Coptic Christians. They also objected to the "Islamist monopolization" of the Assembly.

13 June

The newly assembled members (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/44696.aspx) include 39 representatives of the PA, 13 representatives of labour unions, 21 public figures, nine legal scholars, six judges, five representatives of Al-Azhar, four from the Coptic Orthodox Church, and one representative each from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior and the Armed Forces. Once again, members of the executive and legislature are elected, and legal experts and other public representatives are chosen according to their Islamist affiliation. However, some observers consider that the second CA is more representative than the first one.

14 June

The SCC, headed by judge Farouk Sultan, declares the parliamentary elections unconstitutional. Hence, the PA has to be dissolved two days before the run-off in the presidential elections, and SCAF assumes legislative power again. The ruling likewise threatens the legitimacy and existence of both the Shura Council and the CA. Meanwhile, representatives of SCAF lobby behind the scenes to enshrine the overarching status of the military into the new constitution. In the same session, the court also rules that the Political Isolation Law is unconstitutional.

16-17 June

The run-off in the presidential elections (http://pres2012.elections.eg/index.php/round1-results) between Shafik and Morsi takes place.

17 June

SCAF announces an addendum (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/45350.aspx) to the Constitutional Declaration (الإعلان الدستوري المكمل) of March 2011 and pressures the CA to finish the drafting within six months. The addendum allows SCAF to write laws and form a new constitution-writing body if the current one encounters any obstacles to completing its role. In addition, the Constitutional Declaration limits the presidential powers – only days before the announcement of the presidential election results.

24 June

The Presidential Election Commission (PEC) announces that Mohammed Morsi is the winner of the presidential elections.

27 June

Morsi appoints Hisham Qandil as Prime Minister and charges him with forming a new government. The second CA convenes to start the process of drafting a new constitution, in spite of the threat of dissolution under the same SCC verdict that led to the PA's dissolution.

26 June

The SAC postpones the trial on the constitutionality of the Constituent Assembly. The CA, however, is given a second chance after 26 June 2012 when the Supreme Administrative Court postpones the decision on its dissolution until 4 September 2012.

30 June

Morsi is sworn in by the SCC as the fifth President of Egypt. SCAF formally hands over power to the new President.

8 July

President Morsi issues a decree (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/47250.aspx) to reconvene the dissolved Parliament, but this is frozen by the SCC. In the meantime, the second CA continues to discuss the process of constitution-writing in spite of its contested legal status.

19 and 30 July

The SAC postpones until September a legal challenge to dissolve the CA.

12. August

President Morsi issues a constitutional decree (http://gate.ahram.org.eg/News/240337.aspx) abrogating the Constitutional Addendum issued by SCAF on 17 June 2012 and granting himself full executive and legislative powers. Until the adoption of a constitution and new parliamentary elections, Morsi's decree shifts the process of drafting the new constitution under presidential control if the current CA is unable to perform its duties, i.e. if it is dissolved.

08. September

Morsi orders the retirement of Mohammed Tantawy, Sami Hafez Anan, and some other members of SCAF, and promotes Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to be Chief Commander of the Armed Forces as well as Minister of Defence and Military Production. He also appoints former judge Mahmoud Mekky as Vice President.

24. September

The SAC postpones its decision on the CA till October, and the Administrative Court postpones hearing the case for the Assembly's dissolution until 24 September, giving the Assembly ample time to draft a new constitution.

2 and 9 October

The lawsuit on the constitutionality of the CA is postponed twice by the SAC. The judge also postpones the case for the dissolution of the Assembly until 9 October, and does not commit himself to a verdict even then.

3 October

Activists, politicians and representatives of civil society organizations announce the establishment of a popular movement called the Egyptian Constitutional Front (ECF) (الجبهة الدستورية المصرية), which rejects the constitution being drafted by the current CA. The ECF holds public meetings and campaigns in Cairo and in all county districts across Egypt, with a view to drafting an alternative constitution. The ECF includes Nasser Amin, Ahmed El-Borai, Negad Al-Borai, Gamal Fahmy, Hussein Abdel Ghani, Amr Hamzawy, Bahaa El-Din Hassan, Nehad Abul Qomsan, Hussein Abdel Razek, Hafez Abu Seada, Essam Shiha and Mohamed Zarea.

11 October

President Morsi sacks Public Prosecutor Abdel Megeed Mahmoud, allegedly on grounds that Mahmoud failed to convict the suspects in the so-called 'Battle of the Camel' attacks on protesters by supporters of President Murbarak in Tahrir Square in February 2011. In trying to remove Mahmoud from the scene altogether, he appoints him as Egypt's Ambassador to the Vatican.

12 October

The judiciary regards the transfer of the Public Prosecutor as an attempt to undermine its independence and rejects Morsi's decision.

13 October

Protests take place, and violence erupts between the critics and supporters of President Morsi.

15 October

The ECF launches a campaign to defend the rights and freedoms of Egyptians in the new constitution. It collects signatures for a petition to be submitted to the CA.

23 October

The SAC refers to the SCC all hearings of lawsuits concerning the dissolution of the CA.

13. November

The SCC postpones its decision until the beginning of December. Tensions between the judiciary and the President continue.

14. November

Thirteen members of the CA threaten to withdraw from the constitution-drafting body in protest. They also reject the two-week deadline to finish the drafting, demanding that this to be extended for another three months.

17. November

A coalition of mainly secular-oriented political powers accuses the dominant group in the CA of trying to pass the constitution without a serious debate. Among them are Wahid Abdelmegeed, Amr Moussa, Hamdy Qandil, three representatives of the Ghad Al-Thawra Party and five from the three Christian churches in Egypt. Other members of the CA confirm the continuation of the constitution-drafting process, claiming that the number of withdrawals is not high.

18. November

Fifteen members of the CA withdraw completely, and another 24 freeze their membership until their demands are met.

20. November

More members withdraw from the CA, including the representatives of the Journalists' and the Farmers' Syndicates. Successive withdrawals have caused the loss of almost one third of the CA's members. Thirty have now officially withdrawn and declare that they no longer have any hope of reaching a consensus. They claim that the CA refuses to listen to their recommendations.

22. November

President Morsi issues a Constitutional Declaration (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/58947.aspx). He appoints Talaat Abdullah as the new Public Prosecutor for four years; he protects the CA as well as the Shura Council from dissolution, and shields all his decisions from judicial oversight. In addition, the Declaration amends the article on the formation of the CA, extending the draft preparation period from six to eight months.

23-25 November

Morsi's Declaration is criticized as despotic. Protests erupt in front of the presidential palace in Ittehadeya; violence breaks out between the President's supporters and critics. Four of his advisers resign in protest at the decree.

28. November

The CA approves the draft articles 195, 196, 197, and 198, which relate to the Armed Forces. Many political powers refuse these articles – especially Article 198 related to the National Defence Council – and accuse the CA of following in the steps of Aly El-Selmi's supra-constitutional document, which by then had been rejected by all political powers.

29-30 November

After 14 continuous hours of voting, the CA approves the final draft of the new constitution (http://www.constitutionnet.org/files/final_constitution_30_nov_2012_-english-_-idea.pdf) (النسخة النهائية لمشروع الدستور) (http://www.constitutionnet.org/files/final_dreaft_of_constitution_as_of_30_nov_2012.pdf) at 6:30 am. The CA chairman, Hossam El-Ghiriany, announces the approval of the final draft by the majority of members attending the session.

1 December

The draft constitution is officially presented to the President by El-Ghiriany. Morsi calls for a referendum on it on 15 December.

2 December

The SCC halts its sessions in protest against the pressure exerted by Morsi's supporters, who besiege the SCC building to demonstrate against the court's expected dissolution of both the CA and Shura Council.

5 December

Violent confrontations take place in front of Al-Ittihadeya presidential palace between opponents and supporters of Morsi's Constitutional Declaration and the draft constitution. Vice President Mahmoud Mekky launches a personal initiative, inviting those for and against the constitution to submit their suggestions in order to reach a written document comprised of the controversial articles. He suggests, however, these articles can be only be amended after the constitutional referendum.

7 December

A further four presidential advisers resign. Public protests continue against Morsiʼs Constitutional Declaration, the draft constitution, and against the violence of Morsi's supporters against demonstrators on 5 December.

8 December

El-Baradei requests President Morsi to withdraw his Constitutional Declaration and to postpone the referendum until a national consensus is reached. Morsi calls for a meeting with the opposition for a national dialogue, but no key opposition figures attend.

9 December

Mohammed Selim El-Awa announces a new Constitutional Declaration (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/60116.aspx) that supersedes the decree of 22 November. The referendum is still scheduled for 15 December and the newly appointed Public Prosecutor is to remain in his post.

13 December

The National Salvation Front (NSF) (جبهة الإنقاذ الوطنى) rejects the President's plan for the constitutional referendum, arguing that it would drag the country into violent confrontations.

14 December

The Popular Current (PC) (التيار الشعبى) led by Hamdeen Sabbahy announces its planned participation in the referendum in a 'no' vote. The CA holds a press conference to combat what they call "lies propagated by the opposition" (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/60490.aspx) about the content of the new constitution. They argue that even those members of the CA who have withdrawn agreed on 90 per cent of the articles before leaving.

15 and 22 December

The referendum on the constitution begins, but has to be spread over two Saturdays because of a lack of judges to oversee the voting process. This was the result of a decision by the Egyptian Judges Club to boycott the referendum.

16 December

Activist and lawyer Khaled Aly files a legal action before the SAC to stop the referendum procedures until the full text of the draft constitution is included in the ballot form.

18 December

Prosecutors demand the resignation of the Public Prosecutor, Talaat Abdullah, claiming that the independence of the judiciary had been undermined because he was appointed by Morsi, the executive authority. Abdullah suggests resigning, but rescinds his offer two days later.

20 December

Morsi appoints 90 members (http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/61117/Egypt/Politics-/President-Morsi-announces-names-of-appointed-Shura.aspx) to the Shura Council. These appointed members are supposed to stand in for underrepresented groups, yet more than one third of them are politicians from Islamist parties like the FJP, Al-Nour and Al-Wasat.

22 December

Vice President Mahmoud Mekky resigns. The new constitution (http://www.sis.gov.eg/newvr/cons2012/constitution2012.pdf) is approved in a national referendum by 63.8 per cent (http://www.electionguide.org/elections/id/201/).

23 December

The next day the NSF publicly rejects the referendum results (http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/9234/egypt), arguing that the voter turnout was remarkably low, at 32.9 percent, and that several violations took place during the voting process.

24 December

The new constitution is officially ratified. Full legislative powers – which are granted by the new constitution – are transferred from the presidency to the Shura Council, now that the PA is dissolved.

25 December

The Minister of Communications, Hany Mahmoud, resigns on account of the "current culture of government especially among the current (polarized) circumstances".

28 December

For similar reasons, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Mohamed Mahsoub, also resigns.



2013


15 January

The SCC postpones hearing the legal action about dissolving the CA to 3 February, and refers the case to dissolve the Shura Council to a designated commissioners' committee.

3 February

The SCC postpones the CA dissolution case to 3 March.

26 February

Sameh Ashour, a member of the NSF, announces that the NSF intends to boycott the forthcoming parliamentary elections. Its main argument is that the electoral law is unconstitutional.

3 March

The SCC postpones the CA dissolution case to 7 April.

6 March

The SAC orders the cancellation of the parliamentary elections scheduled for 22 April because the Shura Council passed the electoral law without referring it to the SCC for final review. The SAC now refers the controversial law to the SCC for review.

10 March

The legislative committee (اللجنة التشريعية) of the Shura Council holds a meeting to discuss the electoral law. Arguments take place about whether to amend the cancelled law or to pass a new one. The Public Prosecutor's office announces (http://www.aswatmasriya.com/voters/view.aspx?id=a84bb953-9ef4-463e-b421-3845dafe7451) that citizens are now legally empowered to arrest lawbreakers, which causes many debates in Egyptian society.

11 March

On his official Facebook page, the Public Prosecutor denies empowering citizens by law to make what is known as a "Citizen's Arrest".

25 May

The SCC rejects the draft electoral law passed by the Shura Council, because it does not conform to the 2012 constitution.

2 June

The SCC rules that the Shura Council was elected on the basis of an unconstitutional electoral law. However, the dissolution is postponed until the election of the PA. The CA, which was established in June 2012, is also found to be unconstitutional, but the 2012 constitution remains in effect, because it was approved in a popular referendum.

10 June

Mahmoud Badr, spokesperson for the popular campaign, Tamarod, announces that Tamarod has gathered 15 million signatures demanding President Morsi's resignation.

22 June

Other political powers such as the NSF also call for Morsi to resign.

26 June

Revolutionary forces led by Tamarod launch the '30th June Front'. Tamarod serves as a coordinating body for organizing the political demands, as well as the protests planned for 30 June.

28 June

Morsi supporters stage a sit-in at Rabaa Square in Nasr City in Cairo to demonstrate solidarity with the President. The protests last more than six weeks, until they are dispersed on 14 August.

29 June

Tamarod announces that they have collected more than 22 million signatures in their petition to declare a lack of confidence in Morsi. They propose a six-month transitional road map, with power handed over to an independent Prime Minister, the duties of the President assigned to the head of the SCC and the responsibilities of national security to the National Defence Council (NDC). Tamarod calls for massive protests on 30 June.

30 June

A huge number of protesters from across Egypt respond to Tamarod's call. They demand Morsi's resignation and new presidential elections. Supporters of the President also mobilize in several places.

1 July

The Egyptian Armed Forces issue a televised statement giving Morsi a 48-hour ultimatum (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/01/egyptian-military-ultimatum-text_n_3529987.html) to fulfil public demands; otherwise they will present an inclusive political road map for the country. The presidency announces (http://gate.ahram.org.eg/News/367080.aspx%20‎) on its official Facebook page that the earlier statement by the Armed Forces was not reviewed by the President before its release, and alleges that it contains "connotations that could disturb the complex national (political) landscape". The Tamarod campaign gives Morsi one day to quit, or be faced with civil disobedience in the country.

2 July

Violence erupts in front of the MB headquarters in Cairo, as well as near other MB offices. Four ministers resign. Political opposition forces choose El-Baradei as their representative to mediate between state institutions and political forces, and to outline a consensual road map for political transition.

3 July

One more minister and further members of the presidential staff resign. Hours after the ultimatum passes, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, head of the Armed Forces, holds a televised press conference (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj93wlRwxy0) accompanied by top military and police officials, as well as representatives of the opposition including El-Baradei, the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, a representative of the Salafist Al-Nour Party and a co-founder of the Tamarod campaign. El-Sisi announces (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/75594.aspx) that Morsi is removed from power. He introduces a road map that – among other steps – provides for the suspension of the 2012 constitution and early parliamentary elections. During this transitional period, the head of the SCC will be in charge as interim President and is assigned to form a new government and a constitutional amendment committee. The former Egyptian presidency posts a video (http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2013/jul/04/mohamed-morsi-egypt-military-video) on its YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/EgyptianPresidency) of Morsi refusing to accept his ousting by Egypt's military. A travel ban is placed on him and on other MB leaders.

4 July

Adly Mansour, Chief Judge of the SCC, is sworn in as Egypt's interim President.

5 July

Mansour issues a Constitutional Declaration (http://www.sis.gov.eg/Ar/Templates/Articles/tmpArticles.aspx?CatID=4577) dissolving the Shura Council.

8 July

A second Constitutional Declaration (http://www.constitutionnet.org/files/2013_07_08_-_constitutional_declaration_idea_english.pdf) (الإعلان الدستوري) (http://www.sis.gov.eg/Ar/Templates/Articles/tmpArticles.aspx?CatID=4578) of 33 articles defines the transitional period. Articles 28–31 are dedicated to amending the 2012 constitution.

9 July

The Armed Forces release a statement (http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/76113/Egypt/Politics-/Egyptian-armed-forces-release-statement-hailing-ne.aspx) hailing the Constitutional Declaration issued by interim President Mansour. Meanwhile, clashes between Morsi supporters and security forces in front of the National Guard Club (http://www.almasryalyoum.com/News/Details/232832) premises cause 42 deaths. The MB issues a statement (http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=31123) rejecting the Constitutional Declaration altogether.

10 July

The Tamarod campaign announces that they were not consulted before the issuing of the Constitutional Declaration. They will suggest amendments.

14 July

Mohamed El-Shinnawy and Mohamed Khairy, both SCC Vice Presidents, are assigned to represent the court on the constitutional amendment committee.

21 July

Adly Mansour issues a decree to form a committee of ten legal experts (C10), as mandated by the road map in the Constitutional Declaration issued on 8 July. They will propose amendments to the 2012 constitution within one month. These amendments are to be presented to the appointed Constitution Amendment Committee (C50), which is charged with supervising the amendment process.

23 July

Ali Awad Saleh, the constitutional adviser to the interim President, is appointed as the rapporteur for C10; other members include six senior judges and four respected professors who specialize in constitutional law. The committee members announce their openness to receive suggestions from various political powers and citizens for a period of one week.

24 July

The National Reconciliation and Transitional Justice Committee (NRTJC) led by interim President Mansour holds its first meeting. Newly instated Vice President El-Baradei and Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawy are present. The MB boycotts the meeting. General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi calls for nationwide demonstrations to show popular support for the current transitional road map and to mandate the security forces to deal with terrorism.

26 July

Massive demonstrations take place nationwide in solidarity with the proposed road map and with El-Sisi.

27 July

Moderate independent Islamist public figures, such as Mohamed Selim El-Awa, Tarek El-Bishry and Fahmy Howaidi, propose an alternative road map (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/77592.aspx). Clashes take place between the security forces and the supporters of ousted President Morsi. According to the Ministry of Health (http://www.almasryalyoum.com/news/details/242143‎), 80 ‎were killed and 299 injured in violent clashes in front of the memorial of the Unknown ‎Soldier, near the Raba'a Al-Adawiya Square sit-in.‎

28 July

Interim President Mansour issues a decree (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/77649.aspx) authorizing Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawy to grant the military the right to arrest civilians (الضبطية القضائية). It is interpreted as a preliminary measure for a crackdown on protesting MB supporters.

30 July

Tamarod prefers drafting a new constitution instead of amending the suspended 2012 constitution, but confirms its participation in the drafting process. It initiates the "Write your Constitution" campaign, which collects suggestions from the public. In a press conference, the rapporteur of the C10 announces (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/77890.aspx) that all articles in the 2012 constitution are subject to change, and up till then more than 80 articles have been revised.

07. August

Interim President Mansour issues a decree outlining the selection criteria for the 50 members of the Constitution Amendment Committee (C50). It will consist of five members from different National Councils (such as the Supreme Universities Council and the National Council for Human Rights), one member each from the cultural sector (such as the Writers' Union or the Supreme Council for Culture), the Labour Federation, the Trade Unions and the Youth Movements (such as Tamarod), one each from Al-Azhar, the Orthodox Church, the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, the police, the Armed Forces, the Students Federation and the General Federation of Civil Society Organizations, as well as various political party representatives (two from Islamist parties, two from liberal parties, one from a leftist party and one from a nationalist party) and ten public figures selected by the Cabinet. Mansour's speech marking the beginning of Eid El-Fitr declares that all the diplomatic efforts to mediate the crisis had failed, and that dealing with supporters of ousted President Morsi would be "calculated and careful without lenience or indulgence".

10. August

The Anti-Coup Alliance (ACA), consisting of Morsi's supporters, rejects Mansour's statement. It announces a continuation of the demonstrations and sit-ins.

13. August

Al-Azhar calls on various political powers to achieve national reconciliation. The MB signals its readiness to take part in these talks, yet stresses that the talks must be based on the restoration of constitutional legitimacy.

14. August

The two major sit-ins of Morsi supporters in Raba'a and Nahda Squares are violently dispersed, leaving 578 people dead and 4,201 wounded, according to the Ministry of Health (http://www.almasryalyoum.com/news/details/249481‎). El-Baradei resigns (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/79042.aspx) from his post as Vice President.

20. August

The C10 finalizes its first draft of the constitution (http://www.constitutionnet.org/files/2013.08.20_-_proposed_changes_to_2012_constitution_expert_committee_idea_english.pdf) (التعديلات المقترحة على دستور 2012) (http://www.constitutionnet.org/files/proposed_amendments_for_egypt_constitution_of_2012-arabic.pdf). This paves the way for the formation of the C50.

31. August

Prosecutors announce that Morsi and 14 other high-ranking MB members will be put on trial. The charges include incitement to murder protesters in December 2012 (referring to Al-Ittehedaya clashes).

01. Sepember

Interim President Mansour issues a decree on the formation of the Constituent Assembly (http://www.constitutionnet.org/vl/item/egypt-presidential-decree-no-570-year-2013-compose-committee-responsible-developing-final) (القرار) (http://www.constitutionnet.org/vl/item/msr-lqrr-lrysy-btshkyl-lljn-ltsysy-ltdyl-ldstwr-wlsdr-fy-ljryd-lrsmy-ldd-35-mkrr-fy-1) and announces the names of its 50 members (http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/09/01/constituent-assembly-member-names-out/). The Al-Nour Party criticizes the domination of leftists and the marginalization of Islamists in the C50.

03. Sepember

The presidency responds and announces alternative members for the C50. Independent activists call for national reconciliation and for including the MB in the road map.

08. Sepember

Presidential adviser Saleh states that there are no plans to insulate the C50 from judicial appeal. The C50 holds a procedural meeting led by its oldest member, Abdel-Gelil Mostafa. Amr Moussa is elected as head of the C50, Kamal El-Helbawy, Magdi Yacoub and Mona Zulfekar as deputies, Gaber Nassar as general rapporteur and Mohamed Salmawy as spokesperson. The C50 also forms its sub-committees, and declares that amending the 2012 constitution does not seem possible.

9 and 10 September

The C50 convenes over two days and discusses its procedural rules, forms five sub-committees and starts discussing substantive content issues, such as the system of governance, the role of the military, and the question of amending the constitution or drafting a new one from scratch. The C50 agrees that the controversial articles should be approved by a 75 per cent vote.

11. Sepember

Interim President Mansour issues a presidential decree (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/81380.aspx) forming a new Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) that will oversee the upcoming constitutional referendum.

16. Sepember

The Al-Nour party representative, Bassam El-Zarqa, walks out of a C50 meeting in protest, after a discussion about article 219 of the 2012 constitution. This was a controversial article relating to the Sharia (see Chapter 2 by Leihs and Aly in this OIS volume (http://www.perspectivia.net/publikationen/orient-institut-studies/4-2016/leihs-aly_debate) for the discussion about article 219), which defined the principles of the Sharia using terms from the Islamic legal system.

18. Sepember

Al-Nour party criticizes the C50 as unbalanced; nevertheless he decides to remain a member because dialogue is deemed the best way forward to solve problems. The same day, the government announces an increase in the minimum wage for all public sector workers. Private employers, however, are exempted from this raise. A minimum wage had long been a demand of worker's rights advocates and was enshrined in the 2012 constitution.

19. Sepember

Mansour appoints Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel-Hamid Mansour as a new representative of the Al-Nour party, replacing Bassam El-Zarqa, who announces his withdrawal for health reasons.

22. Sepember

C50 spokesman Mohamed Salmawy announces that the committee will finalize the draft by the end of November 2013.

23. Sepember

Representatives from the activist campaign, "No to Military Trials for Civilians", attend a C50 session to demand a prohibition on civilians being tried before courts martial.

24. Sepember

Liberal and leftist forces launch a campaign calling on interim President Adly Mansour to change his Constitutional Declaration of 8 July: their main demand is that an entirely new constitution be drafted, not only to amend the 2012 constitution.

25. Sepember

The Maspero Youth Union, comprised of independent Coptic activists, attends a C50 hearing to propose amendments related to religious rights and minorities. Afterwards, C50 spokesperson Salmawy announces the decision to ban religious parties, a move that primarily targets Islamist parties.

10 October

The Cabinet approves a new law protest (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/87375.aspx) (قانون التظاهر) (http://www.almasryalyoum.com/news/details/346065), which states that citizens have the right to organize and join meetings, parades and demonstrations under certain conditions. Critics and human rights' NGOs regard the law as highly restrictive.

22 October

The first C50 plenary session takes place. These sessions are closed; the reserve members of the C50 as well as the media are banned from attending them. This decision is criticized for showing a lack of transparency.

25. November

Interim President Mansour issues the controversial protest law (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/87375.aspx). It details the conditions and penalties for violations.

26. November

"No to Military Trials for Civilians" and other movements call for demonstrations against the protest law in front of the Shura Council building, where the C50 meetings are held. The protest is dispersed by security forces and 33 people are arrested.

27. November

The Cabinet states that the Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawy will form a committee to reconsider some aspects of the protest law.

28. November

The C50 spokesperson announces that the C50 has agreed on the constitution preamble.

30. November

The C50 spokesperson announces that the committee has completed drafting all articles of the new constitution and will vote on the constitution over two days. On the first day, the C50 votes on 138 articles of the draft. Only 48 out of the 50 members attend the voting session, because two members have withdrawn. The Egyptian Trade Union Federation representative withdraws in response to the cancellation of the 50 per cent quota for workers and peasants in the People's Assembly, and the Student Union representative withdraws after the death of Mohamed Reda, a student who died during clashes on the Cairo University campus.

1 December

The C50 continues voting on the remaining articles, but four articles are postponed, awaiting approval. Amr Moussa calls on the committee to convene after the voting session to discuss the four postponed articles. The C50 completes its final vote on the draft constitution. This draft will be submitted to the interim President on 3 December.

3 December

Forty-nine out of 50 members of the C50 attend the voting sessions, after the representative of the Egyptian Trade Union Federation, Abdel Fatah Ibrahim, announces his final withdrawal from the committee.

4 December

The C50 officially hands over the finalized draft constitution (http://www.constitutionnet.org/files/final_constitution_-idea-_english-2_dec_2013-signed.pdf) (الدستور) (http://www.constitutionnet.org/files/final_constitution_-2_dec_2013-arabic-_signed.pdf) to interim President Mansour.

8 December

The 6th April Youth Movement, the Revolutionary Socialists and "No to Military Trials for Civilians" announce their rejection of the amended constitution.

9 December

Some members of the Strong Egypt (مصر القوية) Party are arrested for hanging "No to the Constitution" posters. Other campaigns in the mainstream media and on billboards call on the public to participate the referendum, and to vote 'yes'.

10 December

The Strong Egypt Party announces its final rejection of the amended constitution. It campaigns for a 'no' vote. In its statement, the party calls on the SEC to allow political parties and civil society to monitor the vote to ensure that the upcoming referendum is fair and free.

14 December

Interim President Mansour announces that the referendum on the amended 2012 constitution will take place on 14 and 15 January 2014.

19 December

The FJP officially announces that it will boycott the referendum.

20 December

Interim President Mansour holds the first national dialogue on the road map that was announced on the 3 July. Those attending are mostly members of the C50 and representatives of youth political movements.

22 December

More than 80 public figures participate in the second session of the national dialogue. Among them are a number of chairmen of political parties, such as El-Sayed El-Badawy (Al-Wafd Party), Mohamed Abul Ghar (Egyptian Social Democratic Party), Younes Makhioun (Al-Nour Party) and Hamdin Sabahy (Popular Current) and several journalists and television anchor people. The topics of the two national dialogue sessions include whether presidential or parliamentary elections should be held first and which electoral system should be followed.

24 December

The Security Directorate of the Daqahilya governorate is bombed (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/89902.aspx). According to official sources, 16 people are killed and more than 130 injured. The militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdes claims responsibility for bombing the Daqahliya Security Directorate.

25 December

The Cabinet officially declares the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group (http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/12/egypt-brotherhood-terrorist-organization-cabinet.html).



2014


14-15 January

The referendum on the amended 2012 constitution (also called the 2014 constitution) (http://www.constitutionnet.org/vl/item/egypt-constitution-2014) (دستور) (http://www.constitutionnet.org/files/constitution_2014.pdf) takes place on two consecutive days.

18 January

Nabil Salib, head of the SEC, announces that the amendments were approved by 98.1 per cent of voters. The turnout votes exceed 38 per cent of registered voters (http://www.electionguide.org/elections/id/2444/).

24 January

A bomb (http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/92374.aspx) targets the Cairo Security Directorate and also damages the Islamic Art Museum and the Egyptian National Library and Archives. Ansar Beit Al-Maqdes claims responsibility for the attack. According to the Ministry of Health, four people are killed and 76 injured by the explosion.

26 January

Interim President Mansour issues a decree (http://madamasr.com/content/update-mansour-decrees-presidential-elections-should-commence-within-30-90-days) calling on the SEC to prepare for presidential elections within 30 to 90 days of constitutional ratification. He thus changes the proposed transitional road map by bringing forward the presidential election before the parliamentary elections.

Abbreviations


CA

Constituent Assembly

C10

Committee of Ten Legal Experts

C50

Committee of 50 (Constitution Amendment Committee)

DA

Democratic Alliance

DFP

Democratic Front Party

ECF

Egypt Constitutional Front

EB

Egyptian Bloc

FJP

Freedom and Justice Party

NRTJC

National Reconciliation and Transitional Justice Committee

MB

Muslim Brotherhood

NDC

National Defence Council

NDP

National Democratic Party

NSF

National Salvation Front

PA

People's Assembly

PEC

Presidential Election Commission

NSF

Popular Current

SAC

Supreme Administrative Court

SEC

Supreme Electoral Commission

SCC

Supreme Constitutional Court

SCAF

Supreme Council of the Armed Forces



The project on which this publication is based was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the reference number 01UG1204. The authors takes full responsibility for the content of this publication.

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Nadia Leihs, Hend Aly
Timeline
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PDF document aly-leihs_timeline.doc.pdf — PDF document, 599 KB
H. Aly, N. Leihs, Egyptian Constitution Timeline, 13.02.2011-31.01.2014
In: Research Project: Media Culture in Transformation: Political communication, Social Networking and Transition in Egypt, Ed. Hanan Badr (Orient Institute Studies, 4),
URL: http://www.perspectivia.net/publikationen/orient-institut-studies/4-2016/aly-leihs_timeline
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