The Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East hosted His Excellency Amr Moussa, president of the Egyptian Constituent Assembly, via Skype from Cairo to discuss the latest developments in Egypt’s constitution writing process. Moussa began by highlighting the various challenges that Egypt faces, emphasizing that it is fighting its own war on terrorism. From Moussa’s perspective, the fight against terrorism in Egypt consists not only of security procedures, but also entails presenting a constitution that meets the needs of society and represents all segments of the Egyptian populace.
The roundtable discussion addressed concerns regarding the constitution writing process and its outcome. Participants deliberated issues such as military oversight, the role of religion and the state, articles that define Egyptian identity, local governance and decentralization, restrictions on basic freedoms and mass media, and the election system. Moussa stressed that the establishment of a consolidated democracy in Egypt is a lengthy process that requires time and patience. Egypt is on the right track toward democracy, according to Moussa, and although the constituent assembly can take some immediate steps to protect political plurality and human rights, other steps will have to wait as Egypt’s democracy evolves. He emphasized the importance of a gradual approach to controversial issues such as military status in the constitution and local governance.