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Egypt: Early political history

Introduction
Egypt: Early political history
  • Egypt was ruled by Britain from 1882, until it gained independence in 1922.
  • In 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood, a significant force in Egyptian politics, was founded by Hassan al-Banna.
  • Egypt suffered heavy casualties in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, leading to a coup in 1952 bringing Muhammad Najib to power.
  • In 1956, he was overthrown by the Prime Minister and fellow coup leader Abdel Nasser.

Nationalisation, welfare and Arab unity

Nasser's rule
Nationalisation, welfare and Arab unity
  • Nasser's objectives were to re-orient Egypt away from the west and his first major move was the nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956, which led to the Suez crisis.
  • This led to an attempted invasion by the French, British and Israelis but was ultimately thwarted by diplomatic intervention by the US.
  • This improved Nasser's image among the people in Egypt.

Nasser's rule till 1970

Continued
Nasser's rule till 1970
  • Nasser also pushed for Arab unity, setting up the United Arab Republic unitary state along with Syria (1958-61).
  • He embarked upon an ambitious economic modernization program that improved economic conditions in the 1950s.
  • However, these policies began failing in the 1960s and his government began losing popularity.
  • He died on 28 September 1970 after hosting an emergency summit of the Arab League in Cairo.

Reorientation toward the West

Anwar Sadat
Reorientation toward the West
  • President Anwar Sadat came to power in 1970, and began the process of reorienting Egypt toward the west.
  • The Suez canal was opened again, and Sadat began an attempt to open up the Egyptian economy.
  • He also forged a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.
  • He was assassinated by Islamist extremists in 1981 amidst anti-government protests and was succeeded by Hosni Mubarak.

31 years of Emergency

Hosni Mubarak
31 years of Emergency
  • In light of continuing protests, Hosni Mubarak imposed a state of emergency and used the Egyptian military to quell protests.
  • Mubarak's government hampered freedoms of association and expression by imposing new regulations and draconian penalties on violations.
  • Parliamentary politics became irrelevant, until 2005 when Mubarak introduced electoral reforms and conducted elections.
  • Mubarak won the elections, and imprisoned his competitor and runner up Ayman Nour.

Egypt under Mubarak

Continued
Egypt under Mubarak
  • By 2008, Mubarak began mass arrests of the Muslim Brotherhood members, starting with the top leadership, and arresting over 900 members overall.
  • In 2011, protests against Mubarak's rule intensified under the Arab spring.
  • Mubarak stepped down and handed power to the Army Council in February 2011.
  • He was succeeded by the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi, who managed a marginal victory in parliamentary elections.

Revolution and a coup

Morsi
Revolution and a coup
  • The state of emergency imposed after Anwar Sadat's killing was lifted in 2012.
  • Morsi began to attempt to consolidate his power, by immunizing himself and his decisions from judicial purview.
  • This, coupled with influx of Islamist policies led to mass protests across the country.
  • On 3 July 2013, the military removed President Morsi from power in a coup and installed an interim government.

The rise of Sisi

Sisi
The rise of Sisi
  • The military continued to rule Egypt until 2014, and jailed and executed several members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • In March 2014, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi the head of the Egyptian armed forces that was ruling the country, resigned so he could stand for elections.
  • He won the elections in a landslide victory and was sworn in as President of Egypt in June 2014.

Egypt convenes Parliament after three years

11 Jan 2016
Egypt convenes Parliament after three years
  • Egypt swore in its first Parliament in almost three years, with a majority of parliamentarians supporting further empowerment of President Fateh al-Sisi.
  • The previous Islamist-dominated legislature was dissolved by a court ruling in 2012.
  • 596 lawmakers took individual oaths to uphold Egypt's Constitution which was ratified in 2014.
  • Ali Abdelaal, a lawyer who helped draft the 2014 constitution has been elected as the speaker.