Recently, several events have caused a growing conflict among a good part of the Egyptian population; between cheering supporters and shouting opponents. I have noticed that in most cases, each group has kept sustaining his stand emotionally, while very few have chosen to debate the merit of each issue rationally; thus both clans have been willingly creating that insuperable abyss of unreason which will be dividing them for God knows how long.
The events in question are:
I. The signature of an agreement by which Egypt’s government conceded the Red Sea Islands of Tiran and Sanafir to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
II. The Maritime Boundary Delineation Treaty signed between Egypt, Israel and Cyprus.
The first has triggered an overwhelming political, juridical, demagogic and intellectual commotion, which hasn’t settled yet. Instead the second couldn’t cause the same effect; even though a Maritime Boundary Delineation by definition has substantial strategic, economic and environmental implications, as it also confronts its signatories’ disputable ‘Restrictive vs. Expansive’ aspects of their Territorial Waters, Contiguous Zones and Exclusive Economic Zones. As such, it bounds areas of exclusive national rights over mineral and biological resources.
From a strictly personal point of view, my problem is that both treaties are, or should have been, subordinate to constitutional rulings; which wasn’t the case in any; since none of them did pass first by the Parliament for reviewing and rectifying before denying or ratifying, as stipulated by the Constitution, simply because such treaties consist of a significant “strategic, economic and environmental implications”!
All Legal Dictionaries and studies have agreed to define the term ‘Constitution’ as:
“The fundamental law, written or unwritten, that establishes the character of a government by defining the basic principles to which a society must conform; by describing the organisation of the government regulation, distribution, and limitations on the functions of its’ different departments; and by prescribing the extent and manner by which its sovereign powers will exercise their functions. As such, it is a legislative charter by which a government derives its authority to act.”
One of the cardinal principals of any constitution reads: “In a truly constitutional form of government, public officials are subject to constitutional rules and provisions; they may not violate them without punishment.”
Having said that, allow me to remind you of the following confirmed facts:
a) Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court did issue a final ruling confirming Egypt’s sovereignty over the Red Sea Islands Tiran and Sanafir, motivating the sentence by “the lack of adequate evidence supporting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s claim to the islands, therefore the Executive branch of the Egyptian government does not have the administrative authority to cede the territory to Saudi Arabia”.
b) The Court of Administrative Justice ruled that “Prime Minister Sherif Ismail violated the Constitution by signing the agreement” and nullified his signature.
So, and in my personal opinion, Strategic National Security is no reason to breach the Constitution. I think that each of the treaties could have been addressed in Parliament before ratifying without jeopardising the secrecy of their true intents. Intents which I presume also vital for the welfare of the Egyptian people.
May Allah grant our people the wisdom and courage to cross that abyss.. May Allah save the Egyptians from drowning in that abyss of unreason.. May Allah bless Egypt.
Pass On The Word.