Egypt Political Process after Revolution 2011
The most important events since the resignation of President Mubarak can be read on a number of websites in the form of timelines, for example the following websites:
- Key events from January 25, 2011 to June 30, 2013.
- Timeline with a focus on mass protests and repression since the revolution as well as on sectarian disputes.
Military rule and interim government
On February 13, 2011, the current constitution was suspended by the military council and the parliament dissolved. A referendum was held on March 19 to amend eight constitutional articles. The changes are accepted by over 77% of the electorate and are part of a much more far-reaching constitutional declaration by the Military Council has been integrated with changes to 63 articles. This limited the term of office of the president to four years with only one possible re-election. Elections were placed under the scrutiny of the judiciary, the president’s power to declare a state of emergency was restricted and placed under democratic control, and the future parliament was required to adopt a new constitution within six months of its election. After the constitution is passed, a new president should be elected.
According to constructmaterials, the milestones and decision-making powers specified by the constitutional declaration gave the Military Council a decisive influence on the transformation process and resulted in the institutions of the old system remaining largely intact or being able to be put back together again. These include above all the repressive apparatus, the state media, the public prosecutor’s office and the judiciary, as well as the bureaucracy of the ministries and the local administration. In particular, the decision, contrary to the demands of the revolutionaries, to pass a new constitution only after the parliamentary elections and to entrust the organization of the constituent assembly and the drafting of a constitution to the parliamentarians should prove to be problematic.
The transitional governments commissioned by the Military Council, which were reformed several times as a result of ongoing protests, had only limited powers. They had to coordinate all measures with the military council. The first prime minister not appointed by Mubarak, Essam Sharaf, had declared on Tahrir Square that he would get his legitimacy from the revolution. But he and his cabinet were also soon criticized for not implementing the demands of the revolution, or only slowly. His government eventually resigned after sustained protests, demonstrations and squatting that were increasingly brutally attacked by Interior Ministry security forces and the army. But instead of complying with the protesters’ demands, the military council took part Kamal El Ganzouri appointed a new prime minister in November 2011, who already held several ministerial posts under President Mubarak.
The transitional government passed a number of important laws, including the following:
- On March 9, 2011, a law against hooliganism criminalized acts such as brawling, intimidation and breach of the peace and punishable by the death penalty in the event of death. Since then, the law has been used several times against demonstrators and has been heavily criticized
- On March 23, 2011 a law criminalizing protests and strikes. Under this law, anyone who organizes, calls for or takes part in a protest can be sentenced to imprisonment and / or a fine of up to LE 500,000 (approx. 58,000 euros) if the protest hinders work in public or private institutions. The law is to remain in force until the state of emergency is lifted. It is also heavily criticized and has so far only been used in exceptional cases.
- On March 29, 2011 a new party law. In principle, parties are permitted under the sole condition that they do not exclusively represent a certain social class or religious community. However, the specific admission requirements are in some cases stricter than under the old party law, as new parties have to show 5000 (previously only 50) members for their registration, of which at least 300 members each in at least ten of the 27 governorates. In addition, the names of the party founders must be published in expensive large advertisements in at least two of the major daily newspapers
- On May 21, 2011 a new law to exercise political rights. With this law all elections were placed under the supervision of the judiciary. In future, voters will be able to vote with their identity card and no longer have to apply for a voting card. Demands by protesters to limit spending on election campaigns and to ban religious slogans and the use of houses of prayer in election campaigns were not taken into account
- On June 1, 2011 a uniform law regulating the construction and maintenance of houses of prayer. This law replaces the so-called “Hamayouni Decree”, which dates back to Ottoman times and which required the approval of the President for the construction and renovation of churches and synagogues. Under the new law, the Ministry of Local Development and the parish councils are responsible for issuing building licenses for all houses of prayer
- On July 20, 2011 a new electoral law: 50% of the candidates are elected via lists and 50% as independent direct candidates. Critics fear that the possibility of direct election independent of the list will reopen the door for the election of ex-NDP members.