Democracy in Egypt

1073 WordsDec 6, 20055 Pages
Egypt, in terms of democracy, is limited. Superficially it contains all the basic requirements of a democracy: a parliament, a president and regular elections. However, "elections do not a democracy make." In Egypt's sordid past it has been occupied, reoccupied and moreover controlled by external forces unique in the Arab world. Strong nationalism has led Egypt through social experiments that failed. Imitation has brought about a parliamentary monarchy cut short by a coup. In the end, "Rule from abroad" was bargained away in favor of a mock form of democracy that in many ways survives today. However, most recently we have seen encouraging changes in Egypt's government that seem to come closer to what we consider a true democracy.…show more content…
In 1914, Britain declared Egypt a protectorate and imposed martial law. Domestic political activity came to a standstill. As a result, in 1918, seven prominent Egyptians from the landed gentry and legal profession formed a delegation, or Waft, that had as its expressed goal the complete independence of Egypt. In 1922 British announce Egyptian independence with limitations: foreign markets remain controlled by Britain and a military presence continued, even to this day, around the Suez canal. Egypt's "Liberal Experiment" took place between 1924 and 1936. The Waft political party saw independence and constitutional government linked. The British did not agree with full independence but they did prefer the idea of a European-style constitutional government. The country's first parliamentary elections were in 1924. However organized and democratic this may have seemed, the British government continued to undermine the integrity of the parliamentary government. Moreover, because parties, including the Wafd, were unable to realize the necessity of compromise, political momentum was brought to a halt. In the past Gamal Abdel Nasser chose Anwar Sadat as his successor. When Sadat was assassinated in 1981, Mubarak became president. This historical trend does not follow the law that regulates who
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