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Egypt facts and history in brief, part 3

Africa & Sinai Peninsula


Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Politics of Egypt

The Egyptian constitution provides for a strong executive.
Authority is vested in an elected president who can appoint one or more vice presidents, a prime minister, and a cabinet.
The president's term runs for 6 years.
Egypt's legislative body, the People's Assembly, has 454 members - 444 popularly elected and 10 appointed by the president.
The constitution reserves 50% of the assembly seats for "workers and peasants."
The assembly sits for a 5-year term but can be dissolved earlier by the President.
There also is a 264-member Shura (consultative) Council, in which 88 members are appointed and 174 elected for 6-year terms.
Below the national level, authority is exercised by and through governors and mayors appointed by the central government and by popularly elected local councils.
Opposition party organisations make their views public and represent their followers at various levels in the political system, but power is concentrated in the hands of the President and the National Democratic Party majority in the People's Assembly and those institutions dominate the political system.
In addition to the ruling National Democratic Party, there are 16 other legally recognised parties.
The November 2000 elections were generally considered to have been more transparent and better executed than past elections, because of universal judicial monitoring of polling stations.
On the other hand, opposition parties continue to lodge credible complaints about electoral manipulation by the government.
There are significant restrictions on the political process and freedom of expression for non-governmental organisations, including professional syndicates and organisations promoting respect for human rights.
Egypt's judicial system is based on European (primarily French) legal concepts and methods.
Under the Mubarak government, the courts have demonstrated increasing independence, and the principles of due process and judicial review have gained greater respect.
The legal code is derived largely from the Napoleonic Code.
Marriage and personal status (family law) are primarily based on the religious law of the individual concerned, which for most Egyptians is Islamic Law (Sharia).
Government, Country name:

  • conventional long form: Arab Republic of Egypt
  • conventional short form: Egypt
  • local long form: Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah
  • local short form: Misr
  • former: United Arab Republic (with Syria)
  • Internet address: EG
  • Government type: republic
  • Capital: Cairo, Romanisation: Al-Qahira
Administrative divisions: 26 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah): Ad Daqahliyah, Al Bahr al Ahmar, Al Buhayrah, Al Fayyum, Al Gharbiyah, Al Iskandariyah, Al Isma'iliyah, Al Jizah, Al Minufiyah, Al Minya, Al Qahirah, Al Qalyubiyah, Al Wadi al Jadid, Ash Sharqiyah, As Suways, Aswan, Asyut, Bani Suwayf, Bur Sa'id, Dumyat, Janub Sina', Kafr ash Shaykh, Matruh, Qina, Shamal Sina', Suhaj.

Independence: 28 February 1922 (from UK)
National holiday: Anniversary of the Revolution, 23 July (1952)
Constitution: 11 September 1971
Legal system: based on English common law, Islamic law, and 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
Executive branch:
Chief of state: President Mohammed Hosni MUBARAK (since 14 October 1981)
Head of government: Prime Minister Atef OBEID (since 5 October 1999)
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
Elections: president nominated by the People's Assembly for a six-year term, the nomination must then be validated by a national, popular referendum; national referendum last held 26 September 1999 (next to be held NA October 2005); prime minister appointed by the president.
Election results: national referendum validated President MUBARAK's nomination by the People's Assembly to a fourth term.
Legislative branch: bicameral system consists of 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) and the Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura - which functions only in a consultative role (264 seats; 176 elected by popular vote, 88 appointed by the president.
Elections: People's Assembly - last held 29 November 1995 (next to be held NA November 2000); Advisory Council - last held 7 June 1995.
Election results: People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NDP 72%, independents 25%, opposition 3%; seats by party - NDP 317, independents 114, NWP 6, NPUG 5, Nasserist Arab Democratic Party 1, LSP 1; Advisory Council - percent of vote by party - NDP 99%, independents 1%.

Judicial branch: Supreme Constitutional Court.
Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Unionist Party [Mohammed 'Abd-al-Mun'im TURK]; Green Party [Kamal KIRAH]; Misr al-Fatah Party (Young Egypt Party); Nasserist Arab Democratic Party [Dia' al-din DAWUD]; National Democratic Party or NDP [President Mohammed Hosni MUBARAK, leader] - governing party; National Progressive Unionist Grouping or NPUG [Khalid MUHI AL-DIN]; New Wafd Party or NWP [Fu'ad SIRAJ AL-DIN]; Social Justice Party [Muhammad 'ABDAL-'AL]; Socialist Labour Party or SLP [Ibrahim SHUKRI]; Socialist Liberal Party or LSP [Mustafa Kamal MURAD]; Umma Party [Ahmad al-SABAHI].
Note: formation of political parties must be approved by government.
Political pressure groups and leaders: despite a constitutional ban against religious-based parties, the technically illegal Muslim Brotherhood constitutes MUBARAK's potentially most significant political opposition; MUBARAK tolerated limited political activity by the Brotherhood for his first two terms, but has moved more aggressively in the past six years to block its influence; trade unions and professional associations are officially sanctioned.
Egyptians are living under emergency law since 1967, except for an 18-month break in 1980.
Emergency laws are contiguously extended every 3 years since 1981.

Other pages inthis series.

Egypts facts and history in brief, part 1, History, part 1

Egypts facts and history in brief, part 2, History, part 2

Egypts facts and history in brief, part 3, Politics

Egypts facts and history in brief, part 4, Geography

Egypts facts and history in brief, part 5, Economy

Egypts facts and history in brief, part 6, Pharaos of Egypt

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

This information is correct in 2003. E. & O.E.

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