Today Egyptian President dropped the wet cat that was in his lap and announced his request to the People's Assembly (Magles El Shaab) to amend the constitution allowing for other parties to nominate candidates for the presidency elections.
On the surface all is well and this move is seen as commendable and brave by a democratic leader sacrificing powers for the sake of "This stage in our nation's history" as Mubarak put it in his speech. Mubarak will be hailed in tomorrow's papers as the leader that freed the "slaves", built the pyramids, single handedly defeated Israel in the 1973 war, the man of the people, a man that listens to his people, the leader of the whole Arab nation that leads by example, You know the routine..
But still I cannot digest this move for the following reasons:
Lets go less than one week back:
1) Mubarak refuted any plans for constitutional reform before the next elections.
2) A couple of days ago, the ruling party (National Democratic party) after meeting with the opposition parties leaders came out and announced that a) They accept the constitutional amendment after the next elections and b) They "ALL" are unified in their refusing demands for reform coming from outside Egypt
Now is Mubarak fluctuating in his decisions ? Not at all! It has been planned very well, first get them to lose hope, then give the hope back and appear as the "Giver"
Now Mubarak is simply under too much external pressure (the wet cat in his lap) from the United Bush of America to get his act together and fast, and there was no avoiding it. After all if Mubarak is really giving in to the demands of "his people" then he must have just replaced the batteries in his hearing aid. The public have been screaming for reform, and the opposition only grew recent ballz when they felt the external pressure.
So I am not digesting any of it because it looks like another scene in the same redicioulous play that we have all watched 4 times before, Mubarak gets to win this election too, and whoever succeeds George Bush, will be left to deal with it.
Here is your litmus test: IF there is no talk about inserting in the constitution a text limiting the number of times a president can renew, THEN this is your sign that all cannot be well and its just another scene forced by "Today's Nation's necessities". If I were you I would keep my fingers crossed and my hopes down!
Also I have a nagging feeling that the Egyptian's People's Assembly should immediately resign, those puppets are only rubber stamps for whoever is in power, they failed miserably in representing the people that voted for them. If they were unable to induce this constitutional change without being instructed to do it, then they represent no one, and should pack and go, simple and clear.
Another nagging feeling is the (much discussed in this blog) feeling of insult with Mubarak's clear message that this is not done due to internal pressure (see points 1 & 2 above) and with Condy and Bushy demanding reform in Egypt and Saudi Arabia every time a microphone is put in their hands, it is obvious where the pressure on Mubarak is coming from, if you do not do good for your people's sake then you cannot do good, also clear and simple!
Anyway, congratulations to whoever caused this, and to Mubarak in case I am wrong about his intentions and motives.