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Over the course of the last three decades, Egypt has experienced a number of democratic episodes that made it appear that the country was moving towards a potential process of democratization. For the first time since the revolutionary regime of Nasser had abolished party politics and banned the establishment of political parties in 1953, the regime of Anwar Sadat permitted their return in 1977. The same year also witnessed the holding of Egypt’s first parliamentary elections since 1952. Greater openness followed with the 1984 parliamentary elections, as more opposition political parties were allowed to participate in elections, including the Muslim Brotherhood, which had until this reform been a banned political movement. Moreover, with the global advance of the ‘third wave’ of democratization in the early 1990s, there was even greater optimism about genuine democratization in Egypt.
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For a detailed legal analysis of the 1971 constitution and its amendments of May 1980, see Al-Gamal (1995: 242–416).
Appendix 1, “Documents on Constitutional and Parliamentary Life in Egypt 1952–1977”, in Dessouki (1978: 83).
According to article 8 of Law 40/1977, the Committee of Political Parties Affairs was chaired by the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Arab Socialist Union (this was changed later to the chairman of the Shura Council) and was composed of the Minister of Justice, Minister of Interior, State Minister for the People’s Assembly in addition to three members that were free of party affiliation.
The parties which were established by a court ruling included (1) Egypt’s Green Party in 1990, (2) The Unionist Democratic Party in 1990, (3) The New Misr El Fatah Party in 1990, (4) The Democratic People’s Party in 1992, (5) Egypt’s Arab Socialist Party, which dates back to the ASU. President Sadat decided to merge it with the National Democratic Party in 1978. The Administrative Court annulled the merging decree and permitted the party to resume its activities in 1992, (6) The Arab Nasserite Democratic Party in 1992, (7) The Social Justice Party in 1993, (8) Al-Takaful Party in 1995, (9) Egypt 2000 Party in 2001, and (10) The New Generation Party in 2002.
“Egypt’s Parliamentary Elections: An Assessment of the Results.” The Estimate, No. 23 (17 November 2000).
Out of this figure, the approval of at least 65 members from the People’s Assembly, 25 members from the Shura Council, and 10 local councilors in at least 14 of the 26 provinces, must be secured.
Candidates of political parties were exempted from the 5 year and 5 per cent conditions for the 2005 elections.
Al- Taqrîr Al- Istirâtîjî Al- ‘Arabî 2004/2005 (Arab Strategic Report 2004/2005), (Cairo: Markaz Al-Ahrâm Lil Dirâsât Al-Siyâsiyyah Wa Al-Istirâtîjiyyah, 2005), pp. 428–429.
Ibid, pp. 430–431.
For a detailed review of these constitutional amendments, see Al- Taqrîr Al- Istirâtîjî Al- ‘Arabî 2006/2007 (Arab Strategic Report 2006/2007), (Cairo: Markaz Al-Ahrâm Lil Dirâsât Al-Siyâsiyyah Wa Al-Istirâtîjiyyah, 2007), pp. 363–398.
“A Toothless Watchdog,” Al- Ahram Weekly (Cairo), Issue No. 1026, 9–15 December 2010.
See the text of the Constitutional Proclamation at: < http://www.sis.gov.eg/Ar/Story.aspx?sid=44103>.
“Key constitutional amendments announced,” Al- Ahram (Cairo), 27 February 2011.
“Egyptian Voters Approve Constitutional Changes,” The New York Times, 20 March 2011; at: < http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/world/middleeast/21egypt.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0>.
See the text of the Interim Constitutional Declaration at: < http://www.egypt.gov.eg/english/laws/constitution/default.aspx>.
See the text of the amended Law of Political Parties in Al- Taqrîr Al- Istirâtîjî Al- ‘Arabî 2011/2012 (Arab Strategic Report 2011/2012), (Cairo: Markaz Al-Ahrâm Lil Dirâsât Al-Siyâsiyyah Wa Al-Istirâtîjiyyah, 2013), pp. 303–305.
See the text of Decree Law No. 108 of 2011 with amendments on 25 September 2011 in Al- Taqrîr Al- Istirâtîjî Al- ‘Arabî 2011/2012 (Arab Strategic Report 2011/2012), (Cairo: Markaz Al-Ahrâm Lil Dirâsât Al-Siyâsiyyah Wa Al-Istirâtîjiyyah, 2013), p. 342.
“Military powers in draft constitutional document spark ire of opposition figures,” Al- Masry Al- Youm (Cairo), 2 November 2011. See also Al- Taqrîr Al- Istirâtîjî Al- ‘Arabî 2011/2012 (Arab Strategic Report 2011/2012), (Cairo: Markaz Al-Ahrâm Lil Dirâsât Al-Siyâsiyyah Wa Al-Istirâtîjiyyah, 2013), p. 308.
“The constituent assembly nominees dissected,” Al- Masry Al- Youm (Cairo), 25 March 2012.
“Divisions hit constituent assembly,” Al- Ahram Weekly (Cairo), Issue No. 1102, 14–20 June 2012.
See also Al- Taqrîr Al- Istirâtîjî Al- ‘Arabî 2011/2012 (Arab Strategic Report 2011/2012), op.cit., pp. 305–307.
“Egypt: Civilians Tried Since February Exceed Total Under Mubarak,” Human Rights Watch, 10 September 2011; at: < http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/09/10/egypt-retry-or-free-12000-after-unfair-military-trials>.
For a detailed review of these incidents, see Al- Taqrîr Al- Istirâtîjî Al- ‘Arabî 2011/2012 (Arab Strategic Report 2011/2012), op.cit., pp. 474–478.
One of the most outrageous practices of the SCAF was the arrest of seven female protesters in Tahrir Square on 9 March 2011, beating them, putting them in prison cells, and then subject them to a “virginity test” by two military males. They were also threatened by facing prostitution charges if they came back to the Square. After some denial, a military spokesman admitted that the test was conducted as a safeguard against a future claim by the girls that they were raped during detention. See: ‘A Girl tells her story with “the military virginity test,”’ Masrawy, 16 November 2011.
Al-Gindi, Egypt’s first Minister of Justice after the January revolution, revealed that the Society of the Mohammadi Sunna received foreign transfers of US$ 181 million, claiming that the funds would be used for activities related to the “memorization” of Quran. See Al- Ahram (Cairo), 14 February 2012.
“Jurists: Closure of civil society organizations is a gift to the Islamist parties,” Al- Wafd (Cairo), 1 January 2012.
“Maikel Nabil Sanad, Egypt Blogger, Jailed For 2 Years,” Huff Post, 14 December 2011; at: < http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/14/maikel-nabil-sanad-jailed_n_1148719.html>, “Detention of blogger Alaa Abd El-Fattah extended,” The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), 30 November 2011; at: < http://www.fidh.org/Detention-of-blogger-Alaa-Abd-El>.
See Mamoun Fendy, “The deal of the Parliament for the Presidency,” Al- Sharq Al- Awsat, 3 December 2011; Mamoun Fendy, “The Deconstruction of the Revolution,” Al- Sharq Al- Awsat, 6 December 2011; Emad Hussein, “The deal between the Ikhwan and the Supreme Council,” Al- Shorouq (Cairo), 6 January 2012; Interview with Galal Amin in Al- Masry Al- Youm (Cairo), 13 January 2012; Farouk Gowaida, “The trap of inheritance and aborting the revolution,” Al- Ahram (Cairo), 21 December 2011; and Farouk Gowaida, “Who Betrayed the Revolution?” Al- Ahram (Cairo), 19 November 2011.
These points are documented by Mohammad Selim in “The Islamists and the supra-constitutional principles,” Al- Arabi (Cairo) 24 July 2011; and “Failing the 25 January revolution with prior determination,” Al- Arabi (Cairo), 9 September 2011.
“Sobhi Saleh: Al-Selmi document is “dirty and decadent,” Masrawy (Cairo), 18 November 2011; at: < www.masrawy.com/news/Egypt/Politics/2011/November/18/4603626.aspx>.
“Muslim Brotherhood Statement on Obstacles Hindering Power Handover to Elected Civilians,” Ikhwanweb, 24 March 2012; at: < http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=29812>.
“SCAF hits back at Brotherhood criticisms,” Al- Ahram (Cairo), 25 March 2012. For further details, see “Beating the drums between the Brotherhood and SCAF,” Sout Al- Omma (Cairo), 27 May 2012.
“Consolidating power,” Al- Ahram Weekly (Cairo), Issue No. 1103, 21–27 June 2012.
For more details, see “Al-Masry Al-Youm monitors the brotherhoodization of the state during the first eight months of Morsi’s rule,” Al- Masry Al- Yoym (Cairo), 14 February 2013.
“Morsy issues new constitutional declaration,” Al- Masry Al- Youm (Cairo), 22 November 2012.
“Sabbahi, ElBaradei launch National Front to fight Morsi’s decrees,” Al- Ahram (Cairo), 24 November 2012.
“Judges Club lashes out at Morsy’s decisions,” Al- Masry Al- Youm (Cairo), 22 November 2012.
“The Supreme Constitutional Court: Defending human rights or the Mubarak regime?” A report by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, 14 January 2013; available at: < http://www.cihrs.org/?p=5807>.
“Egypt’s new constitution limits fundamental freedoms and ignores the rights of women.” Amnesty International, 30 November 2012; at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/articles/news/2012/11/egypt-s-new-constitution-limits-fundamental-freedoms-and-ignores-rights-women/.
“Torture in Egypt during a year of Muslim Brotherhood Rule.” El Nadeem Center, 26 June 2013; at: http://alnadeem.org/en/node/439.
“One year into Mohamed Morsi’s term Manifold abuses and the systematic undermining of the rule of law.” The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, 26 June 2013; at: < http://en.eohr.org/2013/06/26/one-year-into-mohamed-morsis-term-manifold-abuses-and-the-systematic-undermining-of-the-rule-of-law/>.
- Egyptian Political Transformations Since Independence
Gamal M. Selim
- Chapter 4
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