Leftist Egyptian politician Hamdeem Sabahi has announced that he will run for president of Egypt, making him the first candidate to officially enter the presidential race. Sabahi has regularly expressed his intention to run for president but waited till last Saturday, 8 February, to announce his decision. Sabahi will probably have to contest the popular Army Chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who has not yet announced his candidacy.
On 26 January the Tunisian Parliament adopted a new constitution, the first since the overthrow of the country’s long-time ruler Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. The new constitution replaces the constitution written in 1956 after Tunisia’s independence from France. The new constitution, which was passed by 200 votes from 216, is seen as a crucial step to getting the democratic transition back on track for establishing full democracy. We have asked Sami Razgallah, from the social democratic party in Tunisia Ettakatol, what the main issues in this new Constitution are and what challenges he foresees for his country.
Libya will elect an assembly on February 20 to draft a constitution intended to advance transition to democracy. The assembly will also attempt to break with the difficulties and political instability the country faces after the overthrow of Gaddafi more than two years ago
Sinds de revolutie van 25 januari 2011 en de val van Hosni Moebarak is er veel gebeurd in Egypte. De Moslimbroederschap kwam na de eerste vrije verkiezingen aan de macht en een nieuwe grondwet werd aangenomen. Vervolgens werden de islamisten en president Mohammed Morsi van de Moslimbroederschap na ruim een jaar afgezet door het leger, werd er een tijdelijke regering gevormd en weer een nieuwe grondwet aangenomen. Ondertussen zijn er duizenden mensen omgekomen, met name in protesten tussen het leger en aanhangers van de Broederschap. Zij eisen dat de afgezette president Morsi wordt vrijgelaten en veroordelen wat zij noemen de “legercoup”.
Algeria’s main Islamist party, the Movement for the Society of Peace (MSP), will boycott the presidential elections due to be held on April 17th. Party chief Abderrazak Mokri made the announcement on January 25 to journalists following two days of debate within the MSP. He said the party will boycott the election because of “the lack of real opportunity for political reform, the monopoly of those currently in power over the election and the fact that political demands for transparency are ignored.” Mokri said the authorities are seeking to “trump the will of the people to freely choose who governs.”
The Tunisian parliament adopted a new constitution on January 26th, the first since the overthrow of the country’s long-time ruler Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. The new constitution replaces the constitution written in 1956 after Tunisia’s independence from France. The new constitution, which was passed by 200 votes from 216, is seen as a crucial step to getting the democratic transition back on track for establishing full democracy. ‘This constitution was the dream of Tunisians, this constitution is proof of the revival of the revolution, this constitution creates a democratic civil nation,’ National Constituent Assembly chief and leader of the social democratic Ettakatol party, Mustapha Ben Jaafar, said.The document is seen as one of the most progressive constitutions in the Arab world and Tunisia’s compromise and progress contrasts sharply with the democratic transitions in Egypt, Libya and Yemen, which are caught up in turmoil after ousting their own longstanding leaders in 2011 revolts and uprisings. Earlier this month, Tunisia’s Prime Minister Ali Larayedh stepped down and was replaced by Mehdi Jomaa as part of a deal to ease the crisis between Tunisia’s Islamist party and its secular opposition until new elections later this year.
Participants in the first Egyptian vote of the post-Morsi era have voted overwhelmingly in favour of approving a new constitution, state media reported on January 16th. Unofficial reports stated that 37 percent of the registered voters took part in the constitutional referendum, slightly more than in the vote under ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. About 90 percent of the voters approved the constitution. It is expected that the Election Commission will announce the official results on January 18th.
Today, on January 14, Egyptians vote for the first time since the military ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in a two-day referendum on a new constitution, which could pave the way for fresh elections and may set the stage for a presidential bid by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The new charter aims to replace the constitution passed under Morsi months before he was overthrown. It is yet uncertain how many Egyptians will vote due to concern over violence and militant attacks that may take place, but the constitution is expected to pass. It is backed by many Egyptians who view the constitution as something that can stabilize the country after years of turmoil.
Prime Minister Ali Larayedh, of the ruling Islamist Ennahda party, announced on January 9 that he had handed his resignation to President Moncef Marzouki. His resignation came as part of a blueprint to put the democratic transition in Tunisia back on track after months of political deadlock.
The Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) together with SOLIDAR is organising a new research programme focussed on Women Rights in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and now they have launched a call for academic papers on this issue. The call is open for independent thinkers, journalists, academics and researchers from the MENA region and the aim is to define the challenges in the promotion of women’s rights and gender equality and enhancing equal participation of women in social, democratic, economic, political and cultural life.