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Egypt's System of Government: Republic

Click here for List of Egyptian Political Parties, Party Websites

Egyptian politics take place within the context of a government that, as of the February 2011 resignation of President Hosni Mubarak following several days of protests, is a republic under military rule. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the People's Assembly.

Egypt was once a one-party state dominated by the National Democratic Party. Opposition parties are allowed, but have yet to gain any real power. According to the Constitution, Egypt political parties are allowed to exist, but religious political parties are not allowed as it would not respect the principle of non-interference of religion in politics and that religion has to remain in the private sphere to respect all beliefs. In addition, not allowed are political parties supporting militia formations or having an agenda that is contradictory to the constitution and its principles, or threatening the country's stability such as national unity between Muslim Egyptians and Christian Egyptians.

In April 2011, shortly after the arrest of former President Mubarak and in advance of planned September elections, Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court ordered the dissolution of the National Democratic Party. Islamist parties enjoyed notable successes in the following Parliamentary elections, raising concerned talk from Western observers of a slow-motion repeat of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The prospect of eventual revolution might be made more or less likely by the fact that the the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces retains military rule over the country.

And, as of the Summer of 2013, these trends have continued. President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), democratically elected in June 2012, was deposed in a July 2013 military coup. Both sides were not above devious and anti-democratic manuevering, with Morsi having temporarily granted himself unlimited powers in late November 2012, and the military and its allies having allegedly created artificial fuel, electricity and other shortages to encourage Morsi's ouster. Deadly violence has ensued at both pro-military and pro-Morsi demonstrations.

Sources: Associated Press, nytimes.com, washingtonpost.com, wikipedia.org

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