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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Political situation

Political situation

Khedives, sultans and kings
Muhammad Ali1805-184(8)9
Abbas 1184(8)9-1854
Abbas 2 Hilmi1892-1914
Hussein Kamil1914-1917
Fuad 11917-1936
Fuad 21952-1953
Muhammed Naguib1953-1954
Gamal Abdel Nasser1956-1970
Anwar as-Sadat1970-1981
Hosni Mubarak1981-

People's Assembly
National Democratic Party311-93
Independents (Muslim Brotherhood)88+71
Neo-Wafd Party6-
Progressive National Unionist Party2-3
Tomorrow Party1-1
Nasserist Party0-1
Liberal Party0-1
Still undecided12
Head of state: President Hosni Mubarak
Prime minister: Atef Muhammed Abeid
There are 31 ministers, heading each ministry, while the prime minister also heads the Ministry of Planning and International Co-operation.
The national assembly is called the People's Assembly, and has 454 seats, of which the president appoints 10 representatives. The National Democratic Party holds 415 of these seats.

Egypt is politically stable, but there have been many examples of unrest in recent years. Egypt has only a limited democracy, where elections allow only some political parites, and the elections have proven to allow few changes from pre-democratic times. Still, Egypt has made great advances, and may arrive at a true democracy in the coming years. The main challenge is the Muslim Brotherhood, which run for elections, but which adhere to an anti-democratic ideology. Their strength in the 2005 elections may stop Egypt's Western allies from pushing the democratic reforms any further.
Egypt is a country with a fair amount of freedom of speech, and civil rights are in most cases well secured.
At the present, the militant wings of Islamist groups (to which the Muslim Brotherood also belong) represent at the moment little threat to the Egyptian government, although the situation was uncertain after the bomb attacks at the tourist resort Sharm el-Sheikh in 2005.
At the present, there is about 17,000 political prisoners in Egypt. A majority of these are Islamists (according to The Egyptian Organization of Human Rights).
Egypt's political system receives strong financial support from the U.S., and, given all the challenges of the Egyptian state, they cannot do without this aid.
The Egyptian constitution defines the country as "an Arab Republic with a democratic, socialist system." The political power in the Egyptian system is divided into 4 parts: president, cabinet, legislature and court system; but actual power rests in the hands of the president. The president is elected for a period of 6 years through a referendum. The president has the power to appoint, dismiss and dissolve the other three parts of the system.
Egypt is divided into 26 governorates, each is with a governor appointed by the president.
Old political parties were abolished in 1953, and from 1962 to 1976 the Arab Socialist Union (ASU) was the only legal political party. Three political groups were in 1976 permitted within the ASU. The largest group of these is the National Democratic Party (NDP), which was the group of Anwar as-Sadat, former president. The two other groups are the Socialist Labor Party (including the Muslim Brotherhood) and the reconstitutedNeo-Wafd Party.
The 2005 elections represented a little earthquake to Egyptian politics, although the ruling party remained in full control of the People's Assembly, controlling about 2/3 of all seats. Still, the strong progress by the Muslim Brotherhood, sent a signal of a people increasingly in the mood for political change. The Muslim Brotherhood had not been allowed any normal campaign, rather they had to run as independent candidates, and may well have reched greater popularity if they had been permitted to act as a normal political party.
In the September 7, 2005 presidential elections, Hosni Mubarak received a high 88.6% of the electorate, but many were still impressed by the contenders, Ayman Nour with his 7.3% and Numan Gomaa with 2.8%, who had faced many difficulties in reaching the people with their message. 


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