- 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)
As protests continue to rock Egypt’s major cities, and the death toll rises, Egypt’s government and its opposition appear to be on a path to repeating the same mistakes made over the past two years.
In a short article about Prime Minister Hisham Qandil’s surprise visit to Tahrir Square in the early hours of Monday morning, State Information Service included a coincidental anecdote. While Qandil happened to be in Tahrir, security forces apprehended two “thugs” holding weapons and “big sums of money.” The current government seems intent on following in the footsteps of the SCAF - and those of the Mubarak regime before it - using the same narrative in trying to explain away street protests as nothing more than paid vandals who want to undermine the stability of the country. In Morsi’s speech, he waved the same threatening finger, used by army generals and by Mubarak himself, so vehemently that he lost his place in his speech announcing the state of emergency in the three canal cities.
Morsi reminded Egyptians of his aversion to exceptional measures, and yet continues to use them. His November 2012 decree, expanding his already sweeping powers, was met with resistance by the Egyptian street. A decree instituting a state of emergency and a curfew in the Suez Canal cities, in contrast, has been met with outright defiance. At 9pm, as the curfew began, protesters marched the streets, and even held an impromptu soccer match outside the Ismailia governorate headquarters. Morsi took a risky gamble opting for a state of emergency, and as Egyptians defy the curfew for the second night in a row, his authority is undermined. He is once again in a position where he is considering backtracking, and may cancel the state of emergency in the three cities. That the president’s first response to the worst violence since he took office came in the form of a tweet certainly did not help matters. One TV presenter interviewing the mother of a man who died in the January 25 uprising struggled to find a way to explain the meaning of a “tweet.”
The government does not stand alone, accused of repeating the same tactics. The National Salvation Front (NSF), the largest bloc of Egypt’s opposition, continues along the same trajectory. The group insists on boycotting any efforts at national dialogue unless their five demands are met. Mohamed ElBaradei, a member of the NSF and head of the Dustur Party, described Morsi’s invitation to dialogue as “a façade.”
While many of their demands appear perfectly legitimate - amending the constitution for example - the longer that the standoff continues, the more the NSF’s list of demands grows. The most recent additions to the list include calling for the formation of a national salvation government, and a demand that the Muslim Brotherhood should be “subject to the law,” with the NSF stating that the group has no “legal or legitimate foundation,” pitting the president against the very group he hails from. And the larger the list, the less likely Morsi is to find a path to compromise. The NSF has found an unlikely partner, at least as far as one of their demands is concerned, in the Salafi Nour Party, who are also calling for the formation of a national salvation government – although the Nour Party disapproved of the NSF’s decision to place conditions on their participation in the national dialogue.
Attendance at the national dialogue talks was heavily Islamist, with Ayman Nour one of the few non-Islamist politicians making an appearance, alongside head of the Strong Egypt Party, Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh, former presidential candidate Selim al-Awa and head of the Salafi al-Watan party, Emad Abdel Ghafour. A press release published after the meeting placed emphasis on restoring security, but also addressed one of the NSF’s key demands: the formation of a committee to study changes to the constitution. The group also discussed making changes to the newly drafted election law for upcoming parliamentary elections, which both the opposition and women’s groups were critical of.
As protesters ignore President Morsi’s orders of a curfew, the urgent need for a sincere national dialogue grows. With Morsi’s history of an “illusion of compromise”, however, the NSF’s reluctance is understandable. Coming to the negotiation table is something that the NSF has resisted out of a sense of distrust, particularly at a time when members of the Muslim Brotherhood hold them responsible for the ongoing bloodshed.
There has to come a time when the government reviews the past two years and realizes that the same tactics will only bring about the same results - none of which are in Egypt’s best interest.
A gesture on the part of the Morsi government is needed to indicate that real change is possible. Acquiescing to the request for a national salvation government would go a long way to achieve a sense of consensus since this is at least one demand that has come from across Egypt’s political spectrum. Secular and Islamist politicians, together with the general street movement have all expressed dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Hisham Qandil and his cabinet, handed the arduous task of leading Egypt’s transition. While the current cabinet is admittedly light on members of the Muslim Brotherhood or its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, it is filled with holdovers from the Mubarak regime, and a new cabinet would likely be a source of appeasement for all parties. Genuine intent to amend the electoral law that will shape Egypt’s second post-revolution parliament could also rebuild the trust so sorely lacking between the political forces. Making these changes in an attempt to draw the NSF into talks seem the most logical first step to ending a cycle of street violence, protests and deaths.
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