Overview of Cairo

Politics of Cairo

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Egypt's political and administrative systems are among the oldest in the world. Concepts associated with Western democratic governments such as constitutions, parliaments, judicial authority and responsive governance were established attributes throughout the ancient history of Egypt, and have spread to other nations worldwide. In the history of modern Egypt, Parliament was introduced in 1824; a Constitution in 1882. The Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt was promulgated on September 11, 1971, and has been amended three times
May 22, 1980
May 25, 2005
March, 2007
However, the Western concept of democracy is the very beginning stages in Egypt considering the 2011 Revolution.

Former President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak served as the leader of the ruling National Democratic Party. Under Mubarak, power was organized as a multi-party system, with executive power divided between President and the Prime Minister. This was mostly on paper, as in reality Mubarak held total control.

In late February 2005, Mubarak made a surprise television appearance in which he announced the reform of the country's presidential election law. This was to allow multi-candidate polls in upcoming presidential elections. However, the new law placed draconian restrictions on the filing for presidential candidacies and was essentially ineffectual, continuing to ensure Mubarak was elected.

Since Mubarak stepped down in February 2011, the government systems have been in transition. Egypt has been run by a caretaker government led by the Supreme Council of Egyptian Armed Forces. The initially-appointed prime minister, Ahmed Shafik, resigned under pressure from protesters. He was replaced in early March 2001 by Essam Sharaf. Elections were held in November 2011 and had large voter turn-out. The results of these elections will help to shape the nation

Currently, the government of Egypt is a republic currently under military rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the People's Assembly. The Official Government page for Egypt is still a reliable source for information and government services.

Executive Branch

Under the new regulations of the March 2011 referendum, there are new restrictions for presidents.

  • The president is limited to two six-year terms
  • The providing Judiciary will supervise the elections
  • The president is required to appoint a deputy
  • To get on the ballot, presidential candidates will be required to provide 30,000 signatures from at least 15 provinces, 30 members of a chamber of the legislature, or nomination by a party holding at least one seat in the legislature.
These checks seek to prevent a dictatorship from happening again.

Following the elections, a new People's Assembly, and Majlis al-Shura in March 2012, a committee will draft a new constitution to replace the pre-revolutionary one. It is at that time (not before the end of August 2012) that the presidential elections will be held.

Legislative branch

The Egyptian Parliament lacks the powers of the powerful branch of executive, but provide a vital role. Parliament should meet for one eight-month session each year. Parliament is divided into two houses: Maglis El-Shaab and Maglis El-Shura.

Maglis El-Shaab

The People's Assembly is the principal legislative body. There are 454 deputies, 444 of which are directly elected while no more than 10 may be appointed by the President. The assembly sits for a five-year term, but can be dissolved earlier by the President. All seats are voted on in each election. Four hundred seats are voted on using proportional representation while the remaining forty-four are elected in local majority votes.

Maglis El-Shura

The Shura Council's has limited legislative powers. On most matters of legislation, the People's Assembly retains the last word in the event of a disagreement between the two houses.

The Shura Council is the 264-member upper house of Parliament. In the Council, 176 members are directly elected and 88 members are appointed by the President of the Republic for six-year terms. One half of the Shura Council is renewed every three years. The Shura Council was dissolved in February of 2011. Post-revolutionary, three round elections for the new 270 seat Shura Council will start on January 29, 2012 and end on March 11.


The local government of Cairo is made up of the Governor and the Popular Assembly. The City Government of Cairo provides vital information about the city and city services.

Popular Assembly

The Popular Assembly has both appointed and elected members, although only the elected members are allowed to vote in local government elections. The local government is charged with running the budget and providing essential services for the residents in the city. The local government also oversees the workings of the city and village councils.

Update 4/12/2011

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