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World > Africa > Egypt > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Egypt - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
The Egyptian Constitution provides for a strong executive. Authority is vested in an elected president who can appoint one or more vice presidents, a prime minister, and a cabinet. The president's term runs for 6 years. Egypt's legislative body, the People's Assembly, has 454 members--444 popularly elected and 10 appointed by the president. The constitution reserves 50% of the assembly seats for 'workers and peasants.' The assembly sits for a 5-year term but can be dissolved earlier by the President. There also is a 264-member Shura (consultative) Council, in which 88 members are appointed and 174 elected for 6-year terms. Below the national level, authority is exercised by and through governors and mayors appointed by the central government and by popularly elected local councils.

Opposition party organizations make their views public and represent their followers at various levels in the political system, but power is concentrated in the hands of the President and the National Democratic Party majority in the People's Assembly and those institutions dominate the political system. In addition to the ruling National Democratic Party, there are 18 other legally recognized parties, whereas in 2004 there were only 16 other legally recognized parties.

The November 2000 elections were generally considered to have been more transparent and better executed than past elections, because of universal judicial monitoring of polling stations. On the other hand, opposition parties continue to lodge credible complaints about electoral manipulation by the government. There are significant restrictions on the political process and freedom of expression for non-governmental organizations, including professional syndicates and organizations promoting respect for human rights.

Progress was seen in the September 2005 presidential elections when parties were allowed to field candidates against President Mubarak and his National Democratic Party. In early 2005, President Mubarak proposed amending the constitution to allow, for the first time in Egypt's history, competitive, multi-candidate elections. An amendment was drafted by parliament and approved by public referendum in late May 2005. In September 2005, President Mubarak was reelected, according to official results, with 88% of the vote. His two principal challengers, Ayman Nour and No'man Gom'a, took 7% and 3% of the vote respectively.

Egypt's judicial system is based on European (primarily French) legal concepts and methods. Under the Mubarak government, the courts have demonstrated increasing independence, and the principles of due process and judicial review have gained greater respect. The legal code is derived largely from the Napoleonic Code. Marriage and personal status (family law) are primarily based on the religious law of the individual concerned, which for most Egyptians is Islamic Law (Sharia).

Principal Government Officials
President--Mohamed Hosny Mubarak
Prime Minister--Dr. Ahmed Nazif
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Ahmed Aboul Gheit
Ambassador to the United States--Ambassador Nabil Fahmy
Permanent Representative to the United Nations--Ambassador Maged Abdel Fattah Abdelaziz

Egypt maintains an embassy in the United States at 3521 International Court N.W., Washington, D.C., 20008 (tel. 202-895-5400). The Washington consulate has the same address (tel. 202-966-6342). The Egyptian Mission to the United Nations is located at 304 East 44th Street, New York, N.Y. (tel. 212-305-0300). Egyptian consulates general are located at: 1110 Second Avenue, New York, N.Y., 10022 (tel. 212-759-7120); 1990 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 2180, Houston, TX, 77056 (tel. 713-961-4915); 500 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1900, Chicago, IL, 60611 (tel. 312-828-9162); and 3001 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA, 94115 (tel. 415-346-9700).


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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