Whilst the report welcomes the election of the first civilian
president in Egypt as an historical step in the country’s transition
to democracy, it expresses deep concern that this follows a series
of recent developments which constitute real obstacles to this transition,
in particular: the dissolution of parliament; constitutional changes
enacted by the Supreme Council of Military Forces granting the army
legislative powers and stripping the president of powers in the
field of the budget, foreign and defence policy; and the questionable independence
and impartiality of the Constitutional Court. Caution is also called
for regarding fundamental issues such as the role of women or of
religious minorities, including Christians.
These questions, as well as the overall design of the balance
of powers and the role Sharia Law will play in the new Egypt, will
be tackled in the new constitution. In this respect, the report
underlines the beneficial role which the European Commission for
Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) could play due to its
unique experience in constitutional drafting.
The report lists the main challenges the newly elected president
currently faces: to reassure those Egyptians who are longing for
security and stability but who are, at the same time, deeply polarised;
initiate the badly needed reforms to build a civil administration
free from the corrupt practices of the past and boost the Egyptian economy.