n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - The challenge Egypt faces designing a constitution - : North Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2013, Issue 02
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Constitutional building is a central pursuit in any post-conflict situation. Any national constitution sets the character of the evolving state and establishes its institutional core. A key debate in the constitution-design process in Egypt involves the balance between religion and secularism. This contestation has led to a number of protest actions, both peaceful and violent in the post-Arab Spring context of Egypt. The draft constitution released by the Egyptian Government on 22 October 2012, points to the incorporation of Sharia law in the institutional core of the evolving Egyptian state. Therefore, the institutional core of Sharia Law remains a tradition within constitution building processes in Egypt in that there is a continuation of constitutional articles that creates a constitutional state governed by Islamic law, as under the former Mubarak regime. One can therefore conclude that the heart of the constitutional process is not the creation of a secular democracy, as Article 2 of the 1971 Constitution of the Mubarak regime remains unchanged in the 2012 draft Egyptian constitution. This is still in line with the constitution-building tradition in Egypt that had applied Sharia Law at constitutional level under the Mubarak regime.

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