- 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)
With a bold decree canceling the June 17 Supplementary Constitutional Declaration that limited his powers just before his inauguration--as well as a spate of new senior appointments eliminating senior leaders of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and promoting more junior SCAF members--President Mohammed Morsi appears to be using last week's Sinai crisis as an opportunity to implement a broader plan. What is not yet clear is whether he will succeed to a greater degree than he did with an earlier part of the strategy.
Morsi has now sacked Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Minister of Defense since 1991 and de facto president since Mubarak's departure, and Chief of Staff Sami Enan (often seen as almost equal to Tantawi in power), giving them medals for service and making them presidential advisors. Morsi also replaced the heads of the air force and navy. The new defense minister is SCAF member Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, former head of military intelligence, and the new chief of staff is former army commander Sidqi Sobhi (also from the SCAF). Morsi named Mohamed al-Assar, third in command in the SCAF, as “Assistant to the Minister of Defense,” an office al-Assar technically already held. Al-Assar’s mention might be read as a signal of reassurance to the United States, as he has been responsible for handling military relations with Washington for years.
Morsi appointed as vice president Mahmoud Mekki, a senior judge who was a tireless crusader for judicial independence in 2005-6 and paid the price of discipline under the Mubarak regime. Mekki’s brother Ahmad, also an activist judge, was recently appointed Minister of Justice. All of these new choices are respected senior officials--although the new Defense Minister is tainted by his justification of the use of virginity tests in 2011 during the questioning of female detainees (which he claimed were necessary to protect military officers from accusations of rape)--and none is publicly affiliated with the Brotherhood, although some are reported to have Islamist leanings.
While the appointments are getting the most media attention, Morsi’s decree—in which he seized not only full presidential but also legislative powers—is at least as important. By canceling the June Supplementary Constitutional Declaration, Morsi reinstated presidential authority over defense appointments and military affairs, and also removed the SCAF’s veto over articles in the new constitution. He also did something more profound, which was to amend the March 2011 Constitutional Declaration, basically removing all executive and legislative powers from the SCAF and transferring them to himself, at least until there is once more a parliament to retake legislative authority.
Morsi's latest steps are the third move in a strategy to remove some of the remaining components of the Mubarak regime. His first move, a July 9 decree that attempted to reinstate the lower house of parliament dissolved by court order, has not really been implemented. The parliament met once and then referred its fate to the courts, which have not acted on the matter yet. Morsi then moved into a mode of cooperation with the SCAF for several weeks that suggested he knew he had overreached, but now it seems he was merely waiting for another opportunity.
The military and intelligence failure inherent in the Sinai attack in which 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed provided Morsi with the space to make move two, which was the sacking of General Intelligence Director Mourad Mouwafi and several other senior security officials. And the success of that step, welcomed by most observers as implementing a degree of accountability, seems to have paved the way for move three, the boldest so far.
There are several possibilities for how Morsi’s move will play out over the coming days and what it will mean for the long term. The immediate question is whether Tantawi and Enan will step aside or will strike back at Morsi, either immediately or later on. That might depend on whether more junior members of the SCAF—al-Sisi, Sobhi, and al-Assar—cooperated with Morsi against Tantawi and Enan. If not, another military coup could take place. Another possibility is that Morsi’s decree will be challenged in the courts and his appointments overturned. Either of these scenarios would be likely to lead to violence between military and Brotherhood supporters.
If Morsi’s moves stand, it could be months before it is clear where they will take Egypt. Optimists on Twitter August 12 were saying that Morsi was finally removing the dregs of the Mubarak regime and would now implement the goals of the 2011 revolution. Certainly it would have been difficult, perhaps impossible, for Morsi to be an effective president under the constraints the SCAF had set up for him. But there is also the possibility that Morsi will move beyond the caution of his early appointments to bring more and more Brotherhood members or sympathizers into senior positions, carrying out the putsch that many have feared.
One development to watch closely is the fate of the constituent assembly, which was selected by the parliament and is working on a new draft constitution while facing a lawsuit that could end in its dissolution. Morsi has now seized from the SCAF the prerogative to appoint a new assembly should this one be dissolved. Another area to watch is senior judicial appointments; there have been rumors that Morsi will act soon to change the composition of the Supreme Constitutional Court, as some of the judges have sided with the SCAF against Morsi. Either of those steps would set off a new round of alarm bells in Egypt and beyond.
Michele Dunne is the director of the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.
Photo Credit: AP
Trackback URL for this post:
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.
If you are interested in submitting an article for publication on EgyptSource, please send an inquiry via email with a short outline of your idea.
The views expressed in EgyptSource are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Atlantic Council, its staff, or its supporters.
Follow us on Twitter: @EgyptSource
Click here to sign up for the weekly EgyptSource newsletter.
Faces of Egypt
Journalist and videographer Abanoub Emad explains the drive behind his work: “I want to cover the truth..If it was just a job for me I wouldn't risk my life, but this is what I want to do…and this is what differentiates the quality of work. You can tell who's doing it for the sake of doing it, and who's doing it because it's what they love to do”
At twenty-two, Amr El Salanekly has won the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative fellowship, co-founded a social incubator and an educational platform for underprivileged kids, turned down a job with Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate Mohammad Yunus’ Grameen Bank, and raised hundreds of thousands of Egyptian pounds for community projects in Egypt.
Check out the rest of the Faces of the New Egypt series here.
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.
- The Arabist
- Abu Aardvark (Marc Lynch)
- A Sense of Belonging
- Dalia Ziada
- Daniel W. Drezner
- Democracy Digest
- The Egypt Report
- Egyptian Chronicles
- Felix Arabia
- Foreign Policy Passport
- Foreign Policy Association
- Hossam El-Hamalawy
- MEI Editor’s Blog
- Middle East Post
- Middle East Progress (CAP)
- POMED Wire
- Rantings of a Sandmonkey