ElBaradei: Power struggle resulted in constitutional theater of the absurd

Former Vice-President Mohamed ElBaradei compared the constitutional situation between Egypt and Tunisia during a lecture entitled “The Uprisings in North Africa and the Future of Our Continent”, which he gave in South Africa at the 6th Thabo Mbeki Africa Day on Monday.
In the full text published on his Facebook account, ElBaradei said, “Tunisia succeeded after great effort to agree on a constitution that gained national consensus. In Egypt, as a result of the power struggle between different factions: religious conservatives and liberals; the old regime and the revolutionaries, we had a constitutional theater of the absurd.”
“We had seven versions of constitutions in four years before we settled on one. And for the last three years Egypt has been without a parliament,” he added.
ElBaradei also highlighted, “Understanding the importance of social unity, and reaching a consensus on the basic values and laws that should govern a pluralistic society is however fundamental for social cohesion.”
“This is even more crucial during transition from authoritarianism to democracy, when the focus should be on building a new democratic culture and new institutions, irrespective of the ideological differences,” he said.
ElBaradei said people should focus on creating a formula on how to live together in a spirit of reconciliation and tolerance, saying, “South Africa’s experience in this regard is both instructive and inspirational. The nascent Tunisian experience of the Islamists and seculars working together and launching a Truth and Dignity Commission to bring about closure, could be a model for others.”
Regarding challenges facing Africa, ElBaradei mentioned human development, health, education, housing and social welfare and employment. “Governments must create the conditions in which the private sector can flourish.” However, he said “economic liberalization does not absolve the state from its primary responsibility to ensure that everyone has a decent standard of living and access to basic needs.”
“Egypt’s development plan before the 2011 uprising is a good case in point. It achieved a high rate of growth, but it was a jobless growth, with no or little impact on poverty alleviation, leading to growing inequality,” he said.

Related Articles

Back to top button