Government and policies of Egypt

The modern Egyptian state is the product of a historically rooted political culture and of the state-building efforts of its founding leaders, Gamal Abdul Nasser and Anwar as Sadat. Egypt has been governed by powerful centralized rule since ancient times, when the management of irrigated agriculture gave rise to the pharaohs, absolute god-kings.

Although the contemporary Egyptian state remained in essence authoritarian, such rule was not accepted unconditionally. At present Egypt is a presidential republic, and Hosni Mubarak has been president since the assassination of his predecessor Anwar Sadat in 1981. In September 2005, he was reelected in Egypt's first contested elections.

The 1971 constitution separates power between the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of power. Sharia, or Islamic law, is the principal basis of legislation, but in actual fact the Napoleonic Code is more favoured.

In order to become president a candidate must be nominated by a two-thirds majority of the parliament, which has 444 directly elected members, with 10 more appointed by the president, and only after this nomination is the president elected by a referendum. The Shura Council is a 264-member consultative body, one-third of this body is appointed by the president. The remainder is elected, half every three years, with each member serving a six-year term of office.

Last Updated on Friday 13th November 2009