Monday, July 29, 2013

A lesson for Libya from Egypt

Drafting the constitution needs care and consent

By Brian Whitaker

"Libya is about to embark on the drafting of a new constitution. Depending on how this process is handled, it can either stimulate a constructive debate about the future system of government and move the country forward from the Gaddafi era, or it can simply exacerbate existing divisions.

A good constitution is one that has overwhelming support from the public – support that goes way beyond a simple majority. Without that level of support key elements will feel marginalised or excluded and question its legitimacy – which sooner or later is bound to cause problems. 

For an example of how not to do it, we need look no further than the constitution that was pushed through in Egypt under President Morsi. The Economist noted at the time......"

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