- President Mohamed Morsi's Constitutional Decree - December 9, 2012 (Arabic) (English)
- Final Draft of Constitution, published November 29, 2012 (Arabic) (English) (Audio)
- President Mohamed Morsi's Constitutional Decree - November 22, 2012 (Arabic) (English)
- Draft of the Constitution, published October 24, 2012) (Arabic)
- Draft of the Constitution, published October 16, 2012 (Arabic) (English)
- President Mohamed Morsi's Decree Pardoning January 25 Prisoners - October 8 (English) (Arabic)
- President Mohamed Morsi's Constitutional Declaration - August 12 (English) (Arabic)
- President Mohamed Morsi’s Decree reinstating the dissolved parliament – July 8 (English) (Arabic)
- Renaissance (Nahda) Project (English)
- Morsi Meter (English) (Arabic)
- SCAF Amendments to Interim Constitution - June 17, 2012 (English) (Arabic)
- Interim Constitution (full text, English and Arabic), ratified by popular referendum on March 23, 2011)
- Law on the Presidential Election, No. 174, 2005 (Arabic)
- Electoral laws for the People’s Assembly and Shura Council (full text, Arabic, amended July 19, 2011)
- Law on Non-Governmental Organizations, No. 84/2002 (English)
- Law on the People’s Assembly, amended October 2011 (PDF, Arabic)
- Supra-Constitutional Principles (English) (Arabic)
- The Final Draft Wording of the Articles on Defense and National Security in the New Constitution (English) (Arabic)
- Leaked Articles of the Draft Constitution (English)
Egyptian Government Resources
- Official Facebook page of President Mohamed Morsi (Arabic)
- Official Facebook page of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil (Arabic)
- Official Facebook page of Presidential Spokesman Yasser Ali (Arabic)
- Official Facebook page of the Supreme Council of the Armed forces (Arabic)
- Official website of the Cabinet (English) (Arabic)
- Ministry of Interior (English) (Arabic)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs (English) (Arabic)
- Ministry of Finance (English) (Arabic)
- Ministry of International Cooperation (Arabic)
- Ministry of Social Solidarity (Arabic)
- Ministry of Information (Arabic)
- Ministry of Industry & Foreign Trade (English) (Arabic)
- Ahram Weekly (English)
- Egypt Independent (English)
- Daily News Egypt (English)
- Ahram Online (English)
- Akhbar al-Youm (Arabic)
- Ahram (Arabic)
- Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
- al-Masry al-Youm (Arabic)
- al-Shorouk (Arabic)
- al-Wafd (Arabic)
- Masrawy (Arabic)
- EGYNews (Arabic)
Think Tanks and NGOs:
- al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies (English)
- Arab Forum for Alternatives (English) (Arabic)
- Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (English) (Arabic)
- Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (English) (Arabic)
- Adl (Justice)
- al-Asala (Authenticity)
- Building and Development
- Democratic Front
- al-Dostour (Constitution)
- Freedom and Justice
- Ghad (Tomorrow)
- Ittihad (Union)
- Karama (Dignity)
- al-Masriyin al-Ahrar (Free Egyptians)
- Masr al-Hurriya (Egypt Freedom)
- Nour (Light)
- Popular Alliance
- Reform and Development
- Social Democratic
- Sufi Liberation
- al-Tayar al-Masry (Egyptian Current)
Egypt has finally taken its first step towards democracy, by electing Mohamed Morsi as president, following a long period of uncertainty and increased mistrust of the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC), fueled by their decision to postpone the election results.
Morsi’s victory represents a historical change, not only because, after 60 years of military rule, he is Egypt’s first civilian head of state, but also because he is the first freely elected president with a political Islamic background. Egypt’s presidential election results ended, against all odds and expectations, with Morsi winning by a narrow margin of 3 percent.
His victory, however, is hardly expected to bring immediate stability to the tumult Egypt has been facing since Mubarak’s ouster. Thus, he will find himself facing many challenges resulting from the divisions among the different political forces and outrage over the persistent security vacuum and deteriorating economy. Coming into the presidency after a long and exhausting transitional period will no doubt affect the president's performance. The challenges he faces can be summarized in three categories:
Morsi and the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF)
It remains unclear how much authority Morsi will actually possess, particularly after the SCAF-issued decree stating that the president will no longer be commander-in-chief. This means he will not have the right to replace, appoint, or dismiss SCAF members, cannot declare war without SCAF’s approval, and cannot oversee the military’s budget. The president will also have no say in the formation of the Constituent Assembly in charge of drafting the country’s new constitution. Finally, the declaration gives SCAF legislative power until a new parliament is elected following the court ordered dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament.
The relationship between Morsi and SCAF will remain one of the most problematic issues the president will face. He may choose to maintain the peace and reduce tensions between the presidency and SCAF, a move which may come as a result of the latter’s apparent neutral stance in the presidential elections and evading all suspicions of fraudulent results. In that case, we could probably expect de facto limitations on Morsi and SCAF’s unlimited influence on the presidency.
On the other hand, he could press for a better balance of power, established by ensuring the cancellation of the June 17 decree, and the re-election of only one third of the parliamentary seats,as opposed to dissolving the entire legislative body, both of which weigh on the legitimacy of his presidential authority. If he can't exercise these powers, he will not be able to implement his candidacy promises and he, and his cabinet, will be severely curtailed.
Morsi’s inaugural speech at Cairo University, however, does not bode well. In it, he praised SCAF for their management of the transitional period, saying that it had “honored its promise and pledge not to be a substitute for popular will”.
Morsi and the Egyptian Political Spectrum
Morsi doesn’t enjoy absolute support across the Egyptian political spectrum, with some having called for a boycott of the elections, and others who either voted against him or invalidated their votes. Liberal politicians, both those who distanced themselves from Morsi and those who expressed support for him are afraid that this support will in turn be used as leverage in negotiations with SCAF, disguising Muslim Brotherhood interests as national interests. Copts and women are also among those who fear possible civil rights violations, which could see them treated as second class citizens. Alternatively, those who voted for the so-called ‘Mubarak candidate’, Ahmed Shafik, do not necessarily support the remnants of Mubarak's regime or even the Military Council. Their vote has, instead, been characterized as one that is fearful over Egypt's struggled for democracy.
Morsi’s priority should be to allay these fears through the creation of a national unity government which includes women, Copts and liberals, rather than a government dominated by conservative political forces. This could possibly reassure them, particularly after his victory speech in Tahrir, in which he vowed to be president for all Egyptians, and following his decision to resign from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party, as promised during his presidential campaign. If he fails to take these additional steps, he risks further disruptions and a persistently divided Egyptian political scene.
Morsi and Egypt’s Bureaucratic Institutions
A third challenge Morsi faces is a struggle to control the levers of the state's bureaucratic institutions that the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood have long been banned from. Those institutions, including the state media arm and other sovereign ministries were an integral part of Mubarak's regime. For decades, these ministries have not entertained the possibility that they might be run by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and as a result, they may resist dealing with Morsi, possibly leading the country from one crisis to another. This could also undermine his planned reform initiatives for these institutions.
Morsi may find himself stuck between two options; he can either confront those institutions, and their labyrinth of state networks, or he can adapt to the situation by giving in to them, resulting in little or no reform.. That said, he should avoid clashes and attempt to implement structural reform, establishing amicable relationships, particularly within the Ministry of Interior. This will go a long way toward preventing a feared mutiny, which could prolong or even worsen Egypt’s security vacuum.
How Morsi handles these challenges could be a strong indicator not only for his success as president, but also an indicator of the success of the Egyptian revolution. He must create a prosperous, progressive, inclusive and modern Egyptian state that is in keeping with its people’s aspirations. If he fails to do so, the Egyptian people will lose far more than what the Muslim Brotherhood has lost in terms of its popular support.
Photo Credit: AP
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EgyptSource, a project of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, follows Egypt’s transition and provides a platform for Egyptian perspectives on the major issues – economic, political, legal, religious and human rights – that are at stake in the post-Mubarak era.
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About the Contributors
Alaa Al Aswany, the Arab world's bestselling novelist, is the author of The Yacoubian Building, Chicago, and Friendly Fire. His work is published in thirty-one languages worldwide. Read his EgyptSource posts here.
Yussef Auf is an Egyptian judge and 2012 Humphrey Fellow at American University’s Washington College of Law. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Constitutional Law and Political Systems at Cairo University. Read his EgyptSource posts here.
Amr Hamzawy joined the Department of Public Policy and Administration at the American University in Cairo in 2011, where he continues to serve today. He is a former member of parliament and a member of the National Salvation Front. Read his EgyptSource posts here.
Haitham Tabei is a special correspondent for the Washington Post and Asharq Saudi newspaper in Cairo.
Read his EgyptSource posts here.
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