Government in Egypt is based on republicanism, with a semi-presidential system of government. Following the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, and the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, executive power was assumed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which dissolved the parliament, and suspended the constitution. In 2012, presidential elections resulted in the election of Mohammed Morsi as Egypt's fifth President.
Under the new regulations of the March 2011 referendum, the president is limited to two four-year terms, with the judiciary supervising the elections. The president is required to appoint a deputy, and a commission will draft a new constitution following the parliamentary election. Candidates must provide 30,000 signatures from at least 15 provinces, or 30 members of a chamber of the legislature, or nomination by a party holding at least one seat in the legislature.
The People's Assembly is the principal legislative body. Out of the assembly’s 454 deputies, 444 are directly elected while no more than 10 may be appointed by the president (Article 87 of the Constitution). The assembly sits for a five-year term but can be dissolved earlier by the president. All seats are voted on in each election. 400 seats are voted on using proportional representation while the remaining 44 are elected in local majority votes. The Constitution reserves 50% of the assembly seats for workers and peasants, although in practice the "workers and peasants" have come to be retired military officers and internal security personnel. The People’s Assembly may force the resignation of the executive cabinet by voting a motion of censure. For this reason, the prime minister and his cabinet are necessarily from the dominant party or coalition in the assembly. In the case of a president and assembly from opposing parties, this leads to the situation known as cohabitation. While motions of censure are periodically proposed by the opposition following government actions that it deems highly inappropriate, they are purely rhetorical; party discipline ensures that, throughout a parliamentary term, the government is never overthrown by the assembly.
The Shura Council (Majlis al-Shura) is the 264-member Upper House of Parliament created in 1980. In the Shura Council, 176 members are directly elected and 88 members are appointed by the president for six-year terms. One half of the Shura Council is renewed every three years. The Shura Council's legislative powers are limited. On most matters of legislation, the People’s Assembly retains the last word in the event of a disagreement between the two houses.
Following the convening of the newly elected People’s Assembly and Shura Council in March 2012, a committee was to draft a new constitution to replace the pre-revolutionary one, followed by presidential elections. However, the Egyptian presidential election, 2012 occurred without a new constitution. The military council, which took power in early 2011, promised a fair and civilian vote.
Parliament meets for one eight-month session each year; under special circumstances the president can call an additional session. Even though the powers of the parliament have increased since the 1980 Amendments of the Constitution, the parliament continues to lack the powers to balance the extensive powers of the president.
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)
See more information on the next page... (next)