BRUSSELS – On December 15, Egypt’s draft constitution is due to be put to a referendum. A year ago, Egyptians were thrilled to know that finally their country’s constitution would reflect their democratic hopes and aspirations. Yet the document that they will now vote on is more likely to dash those hopes and dim Egyptians’ prospects for democracy.
The constitutional drafting process was rushed, without the input of liberals, non-Muslims, and women, all of whom boycotted the process, owing to the preponderance of Islamists. The Muslim Brotherhood, and primarily President Mohamed Morsi, is banking on the assumption that the strength of Egypt’s Islamist vote will earn him enough support among “regular Egyptians,” and that the opposition will have little impact on the referendum’s outcome.