MARCH 13, 2011

CIPE's Egyptian Partners Issue Additional Recommendations for the Transition

The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) is providing ongoing support to its partners and other stakeholder groups as they deliberate on Egypt’s future in the wake of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation and the military council’s assumption of power. 

As a follow-up to a late February roundtable on Egypt’s transition, the independent Egyptian daily Al Masry Al Youm held a second policy roundtable on March 7, entitled “Egypt Tomorrow: the Constitution of our Country.” CIPE again agreed to help organize the event at the hosts’ request. More than 420 representatives of business associations, political parties and youth and other opposition movements, think tanks, media outlets, and academia convened to discuss the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’ plan to amend the constitution and hold a March 19 referendum to ratify the changes.

Participants at the roundtable agreed upon the following recommendations, which have been released publicly and forwarded to Egypt’s transitional authorities:

  1. Reject the constitutional amendments in principle, the amendment process, the amended articles which were requested by the previous president, and the referendum date. Conference participants appeal to all Egyptians to vote “no” in the referendum if the military council insists on holding it on March 19.
  2. Establish a constitutional declaration that manages the political environment during the transitional period.
  3. The Supreme Council should elect a “Constituent Assembly” that includes all ideologies and viewpoints to draft a new constitution and enlist constitutional law experts to draft its final version. The constitution should focus on supporting the ideals of the Egyptian revolution and generate freedom and welfare for the people.
  4. The Supreme Council should elect a presidential council, which includes the participation of the armed forces, to develop a detailed plan for the transitional period.
  5. The Supreme Council should cooperate with the presidential council to manage the affairs of the state. The Council’s powers should not be limited to the six month deadline, but continue for as long as it takes in order to maintain stability and prohibit anti-revolutionary forces in hijacking any gains made by the revolution. 
  6. The police apparatus must sustain its role in securing the country and prevent any chaos or insecurity occurring in Egypt’s streets. Additionally, the police apparatus should continue to respect international human rights laws, particularly in a time when Egyptians will be asked to vote four times in the coming year.
  7. Conduct presidential elections before parliamentary elections regardless of tradition or other transitional experiences. Presidential elections will prevent anti-revolutionary forces from re-emerging and will allow time for new and current political parties to be strengthened.

The recommendations contained in this email represent the consensus of the “Egypt Tomorrow” conference participants.

For further information, please contact:

John D. Sullivan,
Abdulwahab Alkebsi,

With funding from National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Agency for International Development, CIPE has been actively engaged in Egypt since 1993 through its partners and a Cairo-based representative office to encourage the private sector’s active participation in the democratic process through voluntary business associations, enhance transparency and accountability through corporate governance and anti-corruption initiatives, and to enable grassroots opportunities for entrepreneurship.

CIPE strengthens democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform.

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