Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Tonight on PBS' Newshour, Tarek Masoud, an assistant professor of public policy at Harvard who just returned from Egypt, noted that the Egyptian Constitution is relevant to how a transitional government can occur. Should Mubarak resign, elections would have to be held within 60 days -- it's unclear what would happen during those 60 days: Who would run the country?

In addition, the Constitution establishes a president who is all but a dictator. To change powers of the presidency, the Constitution would need to be amended by the parliament, but this body is run by Mubarak's party, which hardly has the confidence of the masses. So what to do?

Unfortunately, another commentator on the show, when asked these follow up questions, didn't have the answers and stuck with the "power to the people" line. It still seems to me important to address how to accede to the will of the people under a rule of law.

Hopefully, the US government and even more important, the Egyptian protest leaders are seeking answers to these issues. President Obama states correctly that the U.S. government cannot decide for the Egyptians, but we, as interested citizens of the world, should ask how this transition can happen. Sphere: Related Content