Exactly one year ago, Egyptian liberals took the streets driven by anguish and anger. The first elected government since the Tahrir Square uprising was stealing the revolution from them. In the dead of night, the Islamist-dominated constitutional assembly had approved a draft that many viewed as laying the path to an Islamist state. One year later, with the Islamists out of power and the military firmly in control, a new panel has approved major changes to that constitution.
Just as the old constitution revealed the Islamists’ ambitions, the new document offers a window into the long-term aspirations of those holding power today.
The draft constitution undoubtedly provides much fodder for criticism. It is nowhere near a document that advocates for a liberal democracy could unabashedly celebrate. And yet, it is a much better constitution than the one it would replace.