Partial Democracy and Governance Assessment in Egypt Report

October 14, 2020 by Essay Writer

Since the revolution that took place in 1954, Egypt has had three presidents namely: Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak. Hosni Mubarak became the president in Egypt after president Sadat was eliminated by the leaders of the Islamic Jihad group, who viciously differed with his policies.

Before becoming the president in Egypt, Mubarak had served in the military and even as a minister of defense in the country. For over thirty years now, the leading party in Egypt has been the National Democratic Party. Even if the state constitution depicts Egypt as a democratic country, in the real sense it is not.

The regime is usually authoritarian, given authority by elections. On 25th January 2011, mass demonstrations against Mubarak and his government exploded in Cairo and other towns in Egypt. A week later, Mubarak declared that he would not vie during the presidential election scheduled in September.

He also guaranteed constitutional changes. However, this did not persuade the majority of demonstrators as they wanted Mubarak to leave the office instantly. The protests went on and on 2 February, brutal clashes happened amid pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak demonstrators. Later on, Mubarak left the seat and he is currently awaiting trials for the crimes sued against him.

In this paper, we shall conduct the first step of a partial democracy and governance assessment (DG) for Egypt during Mubarak’s regime. We shall examine consensus, rule of law, competition, inclusion and good governance. We shall then make a conclusion that summarizes the key points that will be discussed.

Consensus

A sophisticated consensus on the basic values, standards and rules of how a community will be ruled is the foundation on which protracted democracies are constructed.

The course of institutional transformation supported by Egypt’s most powerful businessmen shares significant aspects of harmony with the reforms recommended by followers of Islamic constitutionalism and liberal constitutionalism (Alaa Al-Din Arafat, 2009).

These groups support the formation of a more liberal nation with valuable constraints on its authority; a lucid and unprejudiced lawful code; and fortification of political and civil privileges. Nevertheless, there is no analogous consensus on the significance of expanding public involvement in politics. This verity implies that democracy and liberalism have become de- connected in the Egyptian instance.

Liberalism is expected to progress gradually in prospect, while democracy is expected to progress slowly and irregularly. This course may finally result to democracy in prospect, especially if liberalism improves the private segment’s autonomy from the state and forms a more independent and politically vigorous middle class (Alaa Al-Din Arafat, 2009).

Conversely, constitutional changes in 2007 were exclusively disappointing to the democrats. They felt that Egypt should stay as a hybrid regime with legal and institutional restrictions on the managerial authority.

Rule of Law

The constitution in Egypt grants for a well-built executive. Power is vested in a designated president who in turn appoints the prime minister, the vice presidents, and ministers. The judiciary in Egypt emphasizes that the state is supposed to respect the law and be controlled by it. In this light, the law is essential in ensuring that the government observes impartiality in its affairs with the public.

For a long time, judges in Egypt have powerfully defended their autonomy. The judiciary has formed an extensive body of jurisprudence that usually seeks to fortify the independence and veracity of the courts.

This body also seeks autonomy in control of special courts including: the Court of Values, the Emergency State Security Courts and the Socialist Public Prosecutor Courts. These bodies were formed largely to evade the ordinary judiciary and allow the government to prosecute its rivals before specially selected judges using slick methods that augment the possibility of conviction.

Furthermore, judicial rulings in Egypt include a huge number of cases that guard fundamental rights of due procedures. The Court of Cassation guards’ resident’s right to lawful representation if prosecuted, the right to timely and just trial, freedom from illegal search and arrest and freedom from suffering. As ruled by the executive courts, no person is supposed to stay in an official record of suspects for an indefinite period.

At the same time, no person can be regularly subjected to examination or detention without the appearance of exact evidence validating suspicion of crime. This court also asserted that it has the power to decide on whether an individual’s name should appear in the inventory of those deemed risky to security.

The Supreme Court Council (SCC) has given related rulings, holding that investigations may just happen with a court order, and that residents may not be incarcerated or deprived of professional chances on the grounds of sheer suspicion. SCC verdicts have also avowed the presumption of virtuousness in addition to a resident’s right to trial and gentle treatment while under custody.

The degree to which these rulings guard entity rights forms one of the most tolerant aspects of Egyptian jurisprudence. Nevertheless, these rulings boast significant distinctions from liberalism. The liberal notion is based in the principle that entity rights lie at the center of political order (Rutherford, 2010).

States are formed to guard these rights inside a structure of ordered liberty. The state may not breach them except for a case whereby there is a persuasive public requirement to do so.

Egyptian judiciary lacks paramount stress on entity rights. In several rulings, the judges fail to declare the doctrine of basic rights that leads the law and the nation. Individual rights are usually rationalized in terms of their role in safeguarding the safety of the society.

Competition

Whereas consensus makes a foundation of general perception, shared values and the established order that underpins the organizations and structures via which democracy can be experienced, competition is the system that persons living in democracies use to create and challenge ideas, advocate diverse interests, arbitrate diversities, prioritize predilections, create policies, and balance authority.

Competition happens in all sectors and at all heights of society, and within constructions that are both formal and informal.

Competitive parliamentary elections in Egypt characterize the greatest reaction from an authoritarian government that is surrounded by numerous political issues (Brownlee, 2007). A principal cause for this is that elections alleviate imperative shapes of distributional arguments, especially over access to loots within Egypt’s big class of elites who cover the major source of support for the government (Blaydes, 2008).

However, the moderation of distributional argument is not the sole functional advantage of a competitive electoral promotion in Egypt. Elections cause dominance via official channels, offer vital information for the government, provide a central point for the relocation of wealth to state workers and the public and improve the international status of the autocrat while intensifying his political grip (Blaydes, 2010).

This does not mean that holding elections eliminates the entire risk of an authoritarian headship; there subsists a trade-off amid the intra-elite serenity and other practical benefits as well as costs associated with the manner that elections intensify state-society affairs, chiefly relations amid the country and followers of its prime opponent, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Inclusion

Egypt boasts an authoritarian regime. The multiplicity of trade unions is never permitted, and the formation of charitable unions and political parties is usually restricted (Soliman, & Daniel, 2011). However, there are 13 authorized political parties although the New Democratic Party (NDP) has remained to be the leading party since its inception in 1978.

The Muslim Brotherhood has also made significant efforts into the political institution, but so far it has not succeeded the NDP. In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood is legitimately prohibited by the Egyptian law since it has a religious basis. Furthermore, state bodies are usually subjected to the president, who has absolute authority.

In reaction to the growing fame of Islamist unions, the Mubarak government has faltered on its strategies towards the Islamists (Smith, 2008). The regime has opted to pursue a policy of greater litheness towards the inclusion of faith in cultural existence.

Even though there has been some discourse with the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic groups for a long time the height of contact amid the Muslim unions and the regime varies with the political atmosphere (Smith, 2008). Nevertheless, the regime’s reaction to the Islamists has been met with lots of criticism.

Good Governance

Some scholars consider Mubarak’s regime to be more flexible than the regime that prevailed during the reign of his predecessors (Africa Institute of South Africa, 2008). Mubarak’s political pluralism has expanded the nation’s democracy. At present, the media enjoys the freedom of expression, the judiciary works autonomously and many political parties have been born. Besides, the civil society has been revived.

When Mubarak came into power, the country was in huge debts. As a consequence, he initiated reform programs which emerged successful. Mubarak’s regime was able to control inflation and reduce the debts.

Mubarak was also able to preserve peace with Israel and maintain close relations with America. He retained Egypt’s loyalty to the Camp David peace practice and re-affirmed the pose of Egypt as the leader of Arabs. During Mubarak’s reign, Egypt was re-positioned to the Arab League. At the same time, Egypt held a moderating task in the Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations (UN).

Egyptian political bodies have developed over time to contain changing situations and realities. Egyptian societies have also demonstrated a level of path dependence, implying that there is a sustained prejudice in political bodies (Bowker, 2010).

In fact, the desire to shun costs allied with undoing an already established body, such as elections, may have essentially motivated the ruling regime to invent approaches that have made the already established bodies to work for solidity (Douglas, 2006).

Given the multicolored institutional alternatives allied with the electoral process, Mubarak’s regime appears to have experienced little as an outcome of this institutional adhesiveness (Bowker, 2010). The evolving character of these bodies implies that political change has occurred within the historical restraints of Egypt’s institutional bequest.

At present, the Egyptian government operates on approximately half of the national revenue as compared to the time when Mubarak initially came to authority. Income from the Suez Canal, gas and oil profits and foreign support are never adequate to nourish the state assets and boost low tax incomes.

Financial crisis is a problem for any authoritarian government, as its solidity relies not merely on political subjugation, but also on acquiring the loyalty of parts of the residents.

For a long time, the Mubarak government made efforts to stop the decreasing rentier revenues and restructure civic expenditures in an effort to lessen the political overheads of the fiscal decline. Finally, the account of Mubarak’s regime is purely one of a demonstrated capacity to delay, a restricted success at forestalling the unavoidable political results of financial crisis and a shifting political economy.

In conclusion, this DG assessment highlights several facts about Egypt. First, the multiplicity of trade unions is never permitted, and the formation of charitable unions and political parties is usually restricted.

The course of institutional transformation supported by Egypt’s most powerful businessmen shares significant aspects of harmony with the reforms recommended by followers of Islamic constitutionalism and liberal constitutionalism. These groups support the formation of a more liberal nation with valuable constraints on its authority; a lucid and unprejudiced lawful code; and fortification of political and civil privileges.

Nevertheless, there is no analogous consensus on the significance of expanding public involvement in politics. Second, the judiciary in Egypt emphasizes that the state is supposed to respect the law and be controlled by it. Judicial rulings in Egypt include a huge number of cases that guard fundamental rights of due procedures.

The Court of Cassation guards’ resident’s right to lawful representation if prosecuted, the right to timely and just trial, freedom from illegal search and arrest and freedom from suffering. There exist special courts in Egypt including: the Court of Values, the Emergency State Security Courts and the Socialist Public Prosecutor Courts.

Third, competitive parliamentary elections in Egypt characterize the greatest reaction from an authoritarian government that is surrounded by numerous political issues. A principal cause for this is that elections alleviate imperative shapes of distributional arguments, especially over access to loots within Egypt’s big class of elites who cover the major source of support for the government.

However, the moderation of distributional argument is not the sole functional advantage of a competitive electoral promotion in Egypt. Fourth, the regime has opted to pursue a policy of greater litheness towards the inclusion of faith in cultural existence.

Mubarak’s political pluralism has also expanded the nation’s democracy. At present, the media enjoys the freedom of expression, the judiciary works autonomously and many political parties have been born. Besides, the civil society has been revived. Finally, the evolving character of political bodies in Egypt implies that political change has occurred within the historical restraints of Egypt’s institutional bequest.

Egyptian societies have also demonstrated a level of path dependence, implying that there is a sustained prejudice in political bodies. Given the multicolored institutional alternatives allied with the electoral process, Mubarak’s regime appears to have experienced little as an outcome of this institutional adhesiveness.

References

Africa Institute of South Africa (2008). Good governance-African political elites: the search for democracy and good governance. Johannesburg: African Books Collective

Alaa Al-Din Arafat, A. (2009). The Mubarak leadership and future of democracy in Egypt. London: Palgrave Macmillan

Blaydes, L.A. (2008). Competition without democracy: elections and distributive politics in Mubarak’s Egypt. Los Angeles: University of California

Blaydes, L.A. (2010). Elections and distributive politics in Mubarak’s Egypt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Bowker, R. (2010). Egypt and the politics of change in the Arab Middle East. London: Edward Elgar Publishing

Brownlee, A. (2007). Authoritarianism in an age of democratization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Douglas, R. (2006). Change and politics in Egypt. London: Sage

Rutherford, B. (2010). Egypt after Mubarak: liberalism, Islam, and democracy in the Arab world. New York: Oxford University Press

Smith, K.E. (2008). Inclusion-European Union foreign policy in a changing world. 2nd Ed. New York: Polity

Soliman, S. & Daniel, P. (2011). The autumn of dictatorship: fiscal crisis and political change in Egypt under Mubarak. Stanford: Stanford University Press

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