By Abd al-Khaliq Faruq
For many years, Egypt has suffered from a complex political and social crisis, which has manifested itself in multiple forms: there have been continuous demonstrations, sits-in, more than 4,000 protests in the last two years alone, an economic crisis with spiralling effects, plus a crisis in political leadership and a lack of clarity regarding the future. Egypt has been subjected to a political process for the past 30 years or more which has often been characterised as either being paralytic or barren.
In the past ten years the crisis has deepened, thanks to a set of characteristics of the regime that has become clear to identify. First, there has been an open push for the son of President Hosni Mubarak, Gamal, to inherit the office of presidency in what can be dubbed a "Caesarian succession". This move has required amending the constitution in an attempt to obliterate any real chance that any other presidential hopeful would be able to engage in a fair competition with the president's son. This situation has also led to the annulment of the essence of Clause 88 of the Constitution, which requires complete and total judicial supervision of the electoral process.
By Hassan Nafaa
Over the centuries, Egypt's foreign policy has been associated with geo-strategic factors that were dictated by geographical and historical realities, and has been characterized by relative stability. Geography has caused Egypt to rely almost entirely on the water of the Nile River which originates outside its territory and passes through several countries before reaching its southern border.
History informs us that most invaders arrived in Egypt via the north-eastern gate and often continued their advance in the direction of Palestine and the Levant to secure their occupation. The invaders who intended to occupy Palestine and the Levant usually continued their advance in the direction of Egypt to ensure their survival in the East, thus making Egypt, Palestine, and the Levant a single strategic cluster with a single linked destiny.
By AlJazeera Centre for Studies
On Sunday, 5 December 2010, the second and final round of Egypt's parliamentary election was held. This round decided the fate of the seats which had yet to be filled after the first round, which was held on Sunday a week earlier. According to the official results, the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) won more than eighty-three percent of parliamentary seats in a landslide victory; the percentage is expected to increase further when the official NDP members are joined by seventy others who contested the election as independents, in contravention of the party's policies. Meanwhile, opposition parties which had participated in both the first and the second electoral rounds did not win more than fifteen seats. The Muslim Brotherhood did not win a single seat, despite the fact that it had boasted eighty-eight members of parliament in the previous legislature. This paper will examine this second round of Egypt's parliamentary elections, and will consider the implications of its results for the future of the Egyptian government and its relationship with the opposition forces. This paper will also refer to the challenges that inevitably lie ahead for Egyptian political life.
By Afro-Middle East Centre
Egypt has been in turmoil since 25 January 2011, when anti-government protesters took to the streets seeking the immediate resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. The unprecedented protests represent a challenge to the economic, social and political order in Egypt. Na'eem Jeenah, executive director of the Afro-Middle East Centre, provides an analysis in the Mail & Guardian that goes beyond the day-to-day protests. His article analyses what is occurring in Egypt and the regime's reactions to such actions, arguing that from the very beginning the regime's response to the uprising was crafted by the military in such a way that would help maintain the current status quo, allowing it effectively to control the politics of the largest Arab country. Ultimately, it is evident that the end game for the Egyptian military is one in which the regime has the upper hand and is able to strike a deal with the major opposition leaders, while the political influence and economic interests of the military are protected. It is these conditions that would allow it to maintain a direct relationship with American and European military structures, thereby ensuring that the military is able to maintain its domestic power while fulfilling its foreign policy objectives - irrespective of whether democracy is brought to Egyptian soil. For the full article, click here.