- 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)
While the blood of innocent Egyptians is being shed on asphalt outside the Ministry of Defense in Abbassiya, Cairo is getting ready to meet its first fairly elected civilian president. This week in Abbasya, protesters -- most of them supporters of disqualified Salafi presidential candidate Hazem Saleh Abu Ismael – clashed violently with armed thugs in a confrontation that left at least eleven people dead and hundreds more injured. Abu Ismael was eliminated from the presidential race a few weeks ago, after the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) discovered that he had lied his mother’s American citizenship. Although the SPEC cited extensive evidence justifying the ruling, Ismael’s angry followers are still insisting continuing their campaign using the slogan, “lazem hazem,” meaning “Hazem is a Must” and staging massive protests in Tahrir and Abbasya ever since.
The Islamists – led by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi Nour Party – now hold the majority of seats in Egypt’s first post-revolutionary parliament. However, their disappointing performance as lawmakers and overall behavior since sweeping the elections has failed to live up to the high expectations of their supporters. Many disillusioned Egyptians who voted for Islamists’ are now experiencing buyer’s remorse.
Parliament’s failure to form a constituent assembly and embarrassing incidents including a nose job scandal surrounding a Salafi MP have undermined the credibility of the Islamist majority. Huge banners expressing this sentiment are starting to pop up around Cairo, bearing slogans such as “Where are your principles?” and describing Muslim Brothers as “Machiavellians,” while listing examples of their lies and misconduct. There is no doubt that Islamists, well aware of their deteriorating legitimacy, now fear that the disillusioned voters who regret supporting them in the parliamentary elections will not vote for Islamist presidential candidates.
The disappointing performance and deteriorating legitimacy of Islamists in recent weeks raises the question: Why did Egyptians vote for Islamists in the parliamentary elections and will they vote for an Islamist presidential candidate? I have posed this question to a broad range of Egyptians over the past week, including my colleagues at work, taxi drivers, friends, doormen, laborers, farmers, and even my mother. She voted for the Muslim Brotherhood in the parliamentary elections but now regrets this decision, and says she will not vote for an Islamist president.
The results of my informal opinion survey can summarized as follows:
Many Egyptians believe that “food politics” was the secret behind the Brotherhood’s parliamentary victory. In other words, Islamists persuaded voters by filling the gap left behind by the government’s failure to provide basic services. They launched free medical clinics and created food markets where they sold high quality food at discounted prices. The need for these vital services is perhaps even greater than it was at the time of the parliamentary elections, so many Egyptians believe that the Islamist presidential candidates will win significant support in rural and poor urban areas if they successfully deploy their patronage and charitable services in the coming weeks.
Others believe that the influence of mosques is the primary explanation for the political success of Islamists in the parliamentary elections. In Egypt, those who speak in the name of God are considered the most powerful. They can easily control the social mind-set and inspire people to make voting decisions motivated by religious piety. We witnessed this phenomenon in the March 19th referendum on constitutional amendments, voters based their decisions on the guidance of their religious leaders, whether Muslim or Christian.
In the parliamentary elections, Salafis successfully promoted their platform as the “way to heaven.” But despite the influence of mosques in the parliamentary elections, voters in the presidential election are far less likely to base their decisions on the guidance of their religious leaders. They have already made the mistake of trusting them twice (in the referendum and parliamentary elections), and have finally reached the disappointing conclusion that Islamists are only ordinary people who do not really posses a divine mandate to govern Egypt. In addition, the extremism and intolerance they have shown has alienated many of their former supporters. Rather than raising issues in parliamentary sessions that would help improve the lives of Egyptians, economically, socially, and politically, they have focused instead on promoting their conservative agenda with talk of banning pornography, legalizing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and removing English language from primary school curricula.
Yet another explanation for the parliamentary victory of Islamists – cited by many Egyptians including my own mother – is that voters supported Islamists because they believed that Islamist lawmakers would be less corrupt and self-serving than Mubarak’s regime. In other words, it is hard to believe that someone who strictly observes Islamist practices and moral teachings would lie or cheat or betray the public’s trust. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened. Egyptians quickly discovered that Islamists are not as honest as they seem. They have lied, cheated, and stolen just as often as non-Islamist politicians.
Take, for example, the infamous story about the Salafi MP who had cosmetic surgery on his nose and claimed that he was assaulted to cover up the true nature of his bandages. Abu Ismael, the Salafi presidential candidate, blatantly lied to the SPEC when he denied his mother’s American citizenship. After arguing that Egypt does not need American aid, Sheikh Mohamed Hassan collected millions of pounds from supporters and then disappeared. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood are guilty of plenty of lies themselves, most importantly, violating their promise not to field a presidential candidate. And their on-again off-again alliance with the SCAF – despite the military’s violence against protesters – is another example of the Brotherhood’s dubious moral compass. Growing recognition of the moral shortcomings of Islamists will significantly weaken their support in the presidential race as well as future elections.
Despite their deteriorating political capital, Islamists still have sufficient momentum to dominate the presidential election and probably two or three more parliamentary elections to come. However, the rate of support for Islamists will decrease year after year. It will take time for the public to mature politically to the point at which they are able to make informed voting decisions based on their interests rather than their immediate needs and emotions, but the tide is already turning against political Islam.
Dalia Ziada is the executive director of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies and the founding chairwoman of the al-Ghad Party’s Freedom and Rights Committee. She was a parliamentary candidate for the Adl Party in the 2011 People’s Assembly elections.
Photo Credit: Getty
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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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