Africa > North Africa > Egypt > Egypt Government Profile

Egypt: Egypt Government Profile

2016/05/30

egypte-al-sissi.

 

Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi (Arabic: عبد الفتاح سعيد حسين خليل السيسي‎‎ Abdu l-Fattāḥ Sa'īd Ḥusayn Khalīl as-Sīsī, IPA: [ʕæbdel.fætˈtæːħ sæˈʕiːd ħeˈseːn xæˈliːl esˈsiːsi]; born 19 November 1954), commonly known as Sisi, is the sixth and incumbent President of Egypt, in office since June 2014. As chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Sisi launched the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état that removed President Mohamed Morsi from office in the aftermath of the June 2013 Egyptian protests. Two months later, troops loyal to Sisi began a bloody crackdown against protestors and dissidents, later to be coined the August 2013 Rabaa massacre that left 1,400 dead and 16,000 detained.

In the wake of violence, Sisi installed an interim government, but remained Egypt's Minister of Defence and assumed the role of the country's First Deputy Prime Minister. On 26 March 2014 he resigned from his military post, announcing that he would run as a candidate in the 2014 presidential election.[2] The election, held between 26 and 28 May and which included only one opponent, was boycotted by most political parties and the Muslim Brotherhood,[3] and resulted in Sisi winning the presidency with more than 93% of the vote.

Sisi was sworn into office as President of Egypt on 8 June 2014.

 

Egypt’s political outlook is unpredictable. Parliamentary elections and presidential polls are due in 2010 and 2011, respectively. The elections will be a real test to the National Democratic Party (NDP), the party that controls the parliament. In 2009, the NDP held its sixth annual conference in Cairo with the slogan “Just for you”. The conference covered various social and economic policies of which support to the majority vulnerable, pro-poor policies and agricultural policies were key.

The year 2009 was characterised by a wave of public protests. Trade unions and syndicates of pharmacists, lawyers, teachers, doctors, factory workers, truck drivers, students and journalists have amount protested against the government’s tax increases or demanded higher wages or pay of the successful strikes was that of pharmacists against tax increases. Ultimately, the government agreed to meet their demands. The pharmacists’ nationwide strike was a protest against a Ministry of Finance decision to enforce a 2005 tax law retroactively. The ministry announced that it would collect tax arrears dating from 2005 and that pharmacists would no longer be considered small businesses for tax purposes and hence subject to a 15% flat tax compared with the tax of 7% they were used to paying. Another notable strike is that of the citizens of Egypt’s El-Alamein zone on the Mediterranean coast who protested against the continued presence of World War II land mines that cause the death of civilians. The protesters demanded that the developed nations provide financial help in removing the land mines.

Egypt held its first competitive presidential elections on 7 September 2005, following constitutional amendments ratified in a public referendum on 25 May 2005. These amendments constituted the majority substantive reforms during Mubarak’s presidency. With these reforms, Mubarak succeeded in both relieving external pressure and undermining the opposition’s major demands. Until then, the presidential candidate was nominated by a-thirds majority of the People’s Assembly and confirmed in a national referendum. The hegemony of the National Democratic Party (NDP) in parliament ensured that the nomination of President Mubarak would never be challenged, and until 2005, he had been the only candidate to run in successive presidential elections since 1981. Egypt’s constitution places no limitation on the president’s term in office.

In the September 2005 elections, a total of 15 candidates ran for direct election by the voters. As a 2005 policy brief of the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies put it, “The president, like other candidates, had to go to the political marketplace to ask for votes, explain his program, and respond to evaluations of his policies. The awe of the Pharaoh has gone, and the humanity of politics has become possible.” However, retrospectively, this expression of what became known as Cairo Spring seems rather optimistic. The amendments include provisions that limit their real impact. For example, only parties that are represented with additional than 5% of seats for additional than years in parliament have the right to nominate a candidate (none of the legal opposition parties has additional than 5% of seats). Independent candidates need 300 signatures, including 65 from the People’s Assembly and 25 from the Shura Council (both dominated by the ruling NDP) inclunding significant support from representatives of the 26 governorates). Thus, these amendments have changed nothing. President Mubarak won his fifth term with a majority close to 88% (93% in the last uncompetitive vote in 1999). The Ghad Party’s Ayman Nour came in second with 600,000 votes.

Egypt’s bicameral parliament dates back to 1980. In both the People’s Assembly (454 seats, 444 elected by popular vote, 10 appointed by the president) and the Consultative Council (264 seats, 176 elected by popular vote, 88 appointed by the president) the ruling NDP currently has a-thirds majority. From now on, the nature of this majority requires further explanation. Out of the 400 candidates fielded by the NDP in the 2005 parliamentary elections, only slightly over 100 won. Therefore, the NDP could only fasten the majority within the People’s Assembly by reintegrating large numbers of candidates who ran and won as independents (a good example of the mechanisms of patronage). The participation rate in elections is low (24% of registered voters in 2000; 26.2% in 2005). The dominance of the NDP is further strengthened by the fact that President Mubarak serves as both chief of national and leader of the NDP. Parliamentary and local elections are regularly manipulated in favor of the ruling party. During the 2005 campaign, the government arrested 1,000 people on accusations of different forms of violence. These were as well the first elections under total judicial supervision. They were as well monitored by civil society organizations. However, a constitutional amendment in March 2007 ended the supervisory function of the judiciary for elections and transferred it to an electoral commission. The commission, however, is elected by the chambers of parliament, in which the ruling NDP has the majority.

Members of parliament are elected on a regular basis by direct, secret and universal ballot elections. Parliament can be dissolved by a referendum called by the president. The constitution does not mention the principle of free elections. Although article 5 of the constitution states that Egypt is a multiparty system, the Political Parties Affairs Committee, which manages the entry of new political parties, has been very restrictive. Since the constitutional amendment in March 2007, article 5 now clearly states that any party founded on a religious basis is forbidden. This is a tailor-made article to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist movements from becoming legal parties. Furthermore, the president appoints ten members of the People’s Assembly. Thus, much of the apparent pluralism in Egypt’s parliamentary elections is cosmetic.

The 2005 elections changed Egypt’s political picture. The NDP lost some of its power. The illegal Muslim Brotherhood, whose candidates ran as independents, increased its representation in the People’s Assembly from 17 seats in 2000 to 88 in 2005. At the same time, the legal secular-liberal opposition (the Wafd, Tagammu’, the Nasserist Party, and Al-Ghad) and minority representation (women and Copts) lost ground. The majority of Coptic members of parliament are appointed by the president rather than elected. In the 2005 elections, Coptic representation decreased from seats (three elected and appointed) to seats elected and appointed).

Government type: 

Republic

Administrative divisions: 

26 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Ad Daqahliyah, Al Bahr al Ahmar (Red Sea), Al Buhayrah (El Beheira), Al Fayyum (El Faiyum), Al Gharbiyah, Al Iskandariyah (Alexandria), Al Isma'iliyah (Ismailia), Al Jizah (Giza), Al Minufiyah (El Monofia), Al Minya, Al Qahirah (Cairo), Al Qalyubiyah, Al Wadi al Jadid (New Valley), As Suways (Suez), Ash Sharqiyah, Aswan, Asyut, Bani Suwayf (Beni Suef), Bur Sa'id (Port Said), Dumyat (Damietta), Janub Sina' (South Sinai), Kafr ash Shaykh, Matruh (Western Desert), Qina (Qena), Shamal Sina' (North Sinai), Suhaj (Sohag)

Independence: 

28 February 1922 (from the UK)

National holiday: 

Revolution Day, 23 July (1952)

Constitution: 

11 September 1971; amended 22 May 1980, 25 May 2005, and 26 March 2007

Legal system: 

based on Islamic and civil law (particularly Napoleonic codes); judicial review by Supreme Court and Council of State (oversees validity of administrative decisions); accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage: 

18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Legislative branch: 

bicameral system consists of the Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura (Shura Council) that traditionally functions only in a consultative role but 2007 constitutional amendments could grant the Council new powers (264 seats; 176 elected by popular vote, 88 appointed by the president; members serve six-year terms; mid-term elections for half of the elected members) and the People's Assembly or Majlis al-Sha'b (454 seats; 444 elected by popular vote, 10 appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms) elections: Advisory Council - last held June 2007 (next to be held May-June 2010); People's Assembly - three-phase voting - last held 7 and 20 November, 1 December 2005; (next to be held November-December 2010) election results: Advisory Council - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NDP 84, Tagammu 1, independents 3; People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NDP 311, NWP 6, Tagammu 2, Tomorrow Party 1, independents 112 (12 seats to be determined by rerun elections, 10 seats appointed by President)

Judicial branch: 

Supreme Constitutional Court

Political parties and leaders : 

National Democratic Party or NDP (governing party) [Mohamed Hosni MUBARAK]; National Progressive Unionist Grouping or Tagammu [Rifaat EL-SAID]; New Wafd Party or NWP [Mahmoud ABAZA]; Tomorrow Party [Moussa Mustafa MOUSSA] note: formation of political parties must be approved by the government; only parties with representation in elected bodies are listed

Political pressure groups and leaders: 

Muslim Brotherhood (technically illegal) note: despite a constitutional ban against religious-based parties and political activity, the technically illegal Muslim Brotherhood constitutes Hosni MUBARAK's potentially most significant political opposition; MUBARAK has alternated between tolerating limited political activity by the Brotherhood (its members, who ran as independents, hold 88 seats in the People's Assembly) and blocking its influence; civic society groups are sanctioned, but constrained in practical terms; only trade unions and professional associations affiliated with the government are officially sanctioned; Internet social networking groups and bloggers

International organization participation: 

ABEDA, ACCT, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AU, BSEC (observer), CAEU, COMESA, EBRD, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, MINURCAT, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Flag description: 

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; the national emblem (a gold Eagle of Saladin facing the hoist side with a shield superimposed on its chest above a scroll bearing the name of the country in Arabic) centered in the white band; design is based on the Arab Liberation flag and similar to the flag of Syria, which has two green stars in the white band, Iraq, which has an Arabic inscription centered in the white band, and Yemen, which has a plain white