Military Hopes Egypt’s Referendum Will Pave Way For A Sisi Presidency

How many Egyptians will turn out for the referendum remains unclear and the army is nervous about the outcome, judging by the flood of endorsements on both the country’s state-run and privately-held television and radio stations for a constitution that will entrench military power in the country’s politics. The referendum process has earned criticism from foreign watchdogs and NGOs with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington DC-based think tank, describing it as “flawed and undemocratic.”

Several Western democracy and governance groups that normally observe controversial elections have held back from sending teams to monitor this one, either because they fear their staff could be endangered or that the very act of monitoring will been as them legitimizing the referendum.

This from my report this morning for the Daily Beast.

 

Will Libya’s Women Be Shut Out?

Tripoli, Libya

“A year on from the ouster of Col. Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan revolution is turning sour for women, who had hoped that they would find the new Libya open to them to play a far greater role in public and political life—and on their terms rather than those defined by men.”

Now they are battling to get women on a planned constitutional body tasked with coming up with a new constitution for the new post-Gaddafi Libya. Read full report here.

Congress Gets Paid But the Military Won’t!

So if the government shuts down the military won’t get paid but members of Congress will! There is apparently a constitutional reason for this: Section 6. Clause 1. “The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.”

It is automatic.

Even so this can’t play well outside the Beltway – especially with the 800,000 government workers who won’t be paid. Nor with the military and their families for that matter.

What is also shocking is that the House Speaker John Boehner was unaware that members of Congress will continue to receive their pay.

On ABC’s Good Morning America” he said: “Members of Congress are elected by their constituents. If there is a government shutdown, not only will Congress not be paid, but federal employees will not be paid.” Later he had to correct himself, saying that members of Congress should not be paid.

One lawmaker said they could not afford not to be paid. California Democrat Linda Sanchez said she had financial obligations. Hmm, tell that to military families.

Neither side of the aisle come out of this confrontation well. What we are witnessing is a lack of leadership from both the Hill and the White House. Shouldn’t they be able to debate the debt and the deficit without shutting down the government and causing massive disruption for ordinary Americans? And all this hoopla over cutting a tiny amount from the budget? What a lot of posturing!