- 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)
A specific incident--the sentencing to death of 21 youths in the case of the fatal soccer riot in Port Said one year ago--ignited the protests now rocking Port Said, Suez, Alexandria, and to a lesser degree Cairo in which at least 50 have been killed over four days. But the current demonstrations and related political ferment draw on far deeper wells of grievance that have accumulated over the two years since the January 2011 revolution. Conversations with political and civil society activists in Cairo on January 28 suggested that the collapse of the rule of law and lack of consensus on the political process are fueling anger and making it impossible for the country to move forward.
"We have neither law nor order," lamented Nadine Sherif of the Cairo Institute of Human Rights Studies, noting that President Morsi is now belatedly insisting that Egyptians respect court verdicts, after he himself rejected judicial oversight with his November 2012 declaration. Indeed there is a sense here that accountability is only for the powerless. Port Said protesters feel that their youth are taking the full blame for the death of 79 soccer fans in 2012, while virtually no police or government officials have been convicted in the death of more than 1000 demonstrators during and since the revolution. Government denials that police and military officers have used live fire against demonstrators in the last few days, despite strong evidence to the contrary, add to a spreading sense of distrust.
A large part of the problem is that reform of police and internal security forces, which is difficult but absolutely essential in any transition from authoritarianism to democracy, has not even begun. Several observers noted that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces showed no interest in such reforms during its 18 months in power, and that Morsi likewise has shied away from the task despite Muslim Brotherhood demands for security sector reform before they controlled the presidency. Heba Morayef of Human Rights Watch said that Morsi’s government might later regret failing to reform the police, asking "If they can't control the streets now, how will they do it when they have to announce subsidy reforms?" Strong animosity toward the police has been much in evidence in recent days, with Suez protesters torching the Interior Ministry building on January 26, and Cairo protesters destroying two riot police vehicles that reportedly injured demonstrators on January 28.
While the lack of rule of law affects many Egyptians directly--whether through security problems or through a failing economy that cannot be revived without restoring security--continuing controversy over the constitution and planned parliamentary elections dominates the political agenda. For non-Islamists, the good news is that many secular groups are currently united under the umbrella of the National Salvation Front that includes liberal, leftist, and nationalist leaders. But the Front is a marriage of necessity rather than love, and its partners disagree on a basic point: whether their goal should be forcing Morsi to compromise or forcing him from power, a difference that makes it difficult to chart a joint course. One political party leader affiliated with the Front expressed concern that the January 28 rejection of dialogue with Morsi was indefensible and closed off avenues to a constructive solution, while a Cairo University professor pronounced himself delighted by the Front's rejection because the constitution Morsi pushed through made it clear he was overseeing a transition not to democracy but to "Islamic autocracy, if not theocracy."
In fact, all parties might be drawing lessons from their tussle over the constitution a few months ago to be applied in the current test of wills. President Morsi learned then that if he held tight through days of large and bruising demonstrations, protesters would eventually lose public support and grow tired, and he could then move swiftly to approval of the constitution through a popular referendum. He seems to be adopting a similar strategy now, with hopes of quieting matters in advance of parliamentary elections planned for April. Street protesters and political leaders likewise have learned lessons, and are wondering if their street pressure and political unity through the National Salvation Front can last long enough to force compromise from Morsi on their political and rule of law agenda.
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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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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.
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