Referendum and $ 20 bn from Qatar
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi advised the Egyptian people to vote yes for the proposed constitution so as not to lose $ 20 billion promised by Qatar.
Logically, it is not reasonable that anyone would vote on the constitution of his country, which, as described by Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, represents the social contract between the Egyptians, in exchange for financial support from any party whatsoever. But this advice is a ploy commonly used for encouragement or intimidation to win the referendum since there is no longer a president in Egypt who can impose on the people what he deems appropriate as was the case in the era of Hosni Mubarak. The ballot box became the law.
If Al-Qaradawi wants to intimidate Egyptians using the gift from Qatar, others went further than that. Imams at mosques promised heaven to those who vote ‘yes’ and threatened hellfire to those who vote ‘no’. Meanwhile, the other side threatened that voting ‘yes’ would plunge Egypt into a crisis and might even cause civil war.
Of course, $ 20 billion, hellfire and civil war (part of crowd mobilization and mass incitement) express the emotions of contenders about the importance of the constitution, as a contract between the regime and the people and expectations from all sides are very high. But what is the value of the constitution that does not believe in the country's stability? What is the point of a constitution, which divides Egyptians and more importantly, who will save Egypt if the constitution is causing instability in the country?
It is impossible for Qatar to meet the promise of even one dollar out of the twenty billion promised in investments and aid or the International Monetary Fund or the donor countries for that matter, if conflict shakes up Egypt and makes it unstable. Voting yes or no will be of no value should the referendum fail to convince the losers to accept the result with genuine satisfaction and belief.
The draft constitution and the controversy around it has spoiled the political climate. The Egyptian pound has been hit in the process and dissension has caused bleeding in the stock market, all of which are worrying signs. No one in Egypt has the ability to prevent the disaster, whatever the majority voted, except President Muhammad Mursi. The task will be difficult because each team considers this a decisive issue and extremists such as Salafi jihadist groups in the Sinai, vowed to use arms to impose the constitution by force — although everyone will stand against them if this happens. The challenge is that each team has reached a level of intolerance that does not leave room for maneuver and retreat later on, while the constitutions are civil projects that can be agreed upon even after the referendum.
Mursi is the key to the solution. He is only required to demonstrate real leadership through reassuring the anxious masses and it is hoped that he will bring together all parties to the table in his palace to fix what was marred by the Constitution controversy. This will require him to give up his affiliation and loyalty to the Muslim Brotherhood party and act as President of the Republic.
For without being president of the Copts and civil forces, he cannot remain exclusively the leader of Islamic groups that will hound him later on many issues and request him to do what is impossible.
He must also consider the civilized political position of opposition leaders who all said they do not question the legitimacy of his presidency and do not approve of claimants who wish to topple him in a complementary revolution and recognize his rights until the end of his current term. However, it is not certain that the opposition will continue their legal and moral position if the president always sides with his group and marginalizes other parties in the first form of democratic governance through which state institutions are formed.