Egypt Administrative Reform, Innovation and Maintenance


The views expressed do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the United Nations and of Italian Department for Public Administration, and Formez


II.1 General Institutional Framework II.2 The constitutional organs II. 3. The central administration II. 4. Local administrations

CHAPTER III – THE ECONOMY III. 1.The five-year development plan III. 2. Macro-economic indicators SOURCES


He is considered the father of modern Egypt due to his decisive contributions to the country’s modernisation. 1869.K. nevertheless. in the second half of the 19th century Egypt found itself in dire economic straits. British influence would last much charge of overseeing Egypt’s public debt. and Egypt was declared an independent country. In 1863 Khedive Ismail. Ismail brought to a head the modernisation process launched by Mohamad Ali. and Egypt signed a treaty that put the U. on November 17. whose aim was to end foreign occupation. Napoleon’s rule was short-lived: in 1801 Mohamad Ali. which brought about the creation of an international organisation – the Public Debt Commission . the protection of minorities and foreign interests. European control over the country grew significantly thanks in part to the Commission’s work. rose to power with the support of Egypt’s population and took the title of Khedive (Lord in Persian). 1922 the United Kingdom unilaterally proclaimed the end of the British protectorate. Egypt’s defence against foreign aggression and interference. which marked the beginning of Western influence in the country. 1923.K. Ismail’s main ambition was to bring Egypt up to par with European countries in terms of development and culture. The Suez Canal was inaugurated during his reign. 1 4 . independent Egypt’s first constitution was proclaimed by royal decree. while Sa’ad Zaghloul. which was committed to the two main goals of Egyptian nationalism: independence and constitutional reform. 1882. His reign lasted from 1805 to 1849 and included many important events in Egypt’s modern history. in order to safeguard British interests the U. The early 20th century saw the rebirth of Egyptian nationalism. Egypt’s history took a new turn with the arrival of Napoleon Bonaparte on July 2. ended centuries of foreign domination. Indeed. On February 28. However. The following thirty years of monarchy were a highly turbulent period. but were also very fecund in terms of democratisation: on April 19. 1798. In the 16th century the Ottoman Turks invaded Egypt and turned it into a province of their empire. an Ottoman Army official and leader of its Albanian contingent. Mustafa Kamel founded the National Party. in charge of several important aspects of Egyptian policy1. and Egypt’s relations with the Sudan. British troops landed in Alexandria and begun an occupation that lasted 74 years. Mustafa el Nahas and others became prominent figures in the Wafd movement. On August 12.CHAPTER I – HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL BACKGROUND Egypt’s independence. a member of Mohamad Ali’s dynasty. achieved in 1922. It These included the security of imperial communications. rose to power.

10. Brussels. 1953. which was approved on February 10. On numerous occasions this led to the dissolution of Parliament2. Zaglhoul’s successor. All political parties were dissolved in February 1953. Egypt was declared a republic and Mohamad Naguib was appointed President. and sovereign Egypt. to be succeeded a year later by Gamal Adb el-Nasser. Nasser began a rapid ascent and quickly became Prime Minister and eventually Head of State in November 1954. liberal government. Etablissements Emile Brulyant. and the King. On July 23. S. the monarchy ended. See: K. The seriousness of this problem was evidenced by the fact that Prime Minister Mustafa an-Nahhas. From a political point of view.A. who was Interior Minister at the time. 2 5 . World War II revealed how fragile Egypt’s independence actually was. in “Costitutiones Africae”. This document called for a strong concentration of powers in the hands of the leaders of the revolution who were legally recognised in the Revolutionary Command Council.. British misgivings increased and culminated in January 1952 with violent clashes between British troops and the Egyptian police. such as the murder of Prime Minister an Nugrashi (of the Sa’adis party. 1952. the Free Officers Group led by Gamal Abd el-Nasser took power through a bloodless coup that allowed King Farouk to leaved the country. and in order to provoke elections in 1942. The 1923 Constitution proclaimed an independent. 1989. and social frustration led to the creation of the Free Officers Movement on the part of a group of young Army officers who felt betrayed by the government. p. free. governed by a hereditary monarchy and a representative government. It also enshrined a number of civil and political rights for Egypt’s citizens. Nasser abolished the 1923 Constitution and appointed a constitutional committee to draft a new Constitution. Nasser. Egypt. this entire period was characterised by constant conflict between the parliamentary majority. and divided legislative powers between the King and a bicameral parliament. especially the Wafd party. was highly critical of the possibility of forming a parliamentary. which was the idea that Naguib favoured. A growing sense of political. economic. De Feyter.came into force on April 30. 1953. Sa’ad Zaghloul formed Egypt’s first representative government. On June 18. who was suspected of favouring Germany. who held the title of Prime Minister five times between 1928 and 1950. The United Kingdom openly interfered with Egypt’s internal politics on at least two occasions: in order to obtain the resignation of Prime Minister Ali Mahir. had to resign every time there was conflict with the King. Because of alternating electoral outcomes and grave political crises. close to the King and hostile to the Wafd).

This led to the invasion of the Sinai peninsula on the part of Israeli. which became more acute with the presidential crisis of June 9. 1970. sovereign Arab state.The Nasser administration undertook various ambitious agricultural and industrial development project. The 1956 Constitution therefore set the stage for a planned economy. The “Six-Day War” of 1967 drew attention away from internal problems. Citizens were granted a number of important civil rights along with economic rights. Nasser further hardened his position. Most of the elected Assembly members turned out to be landowners or of middle class extraction. He was one of the original members of the Free Officers Movement. Anwar al-Sadat assumed the presidency. Nasser was elected to a six-year mandate in a plebiscite held in June 1956. approved on March 25. Only in that year did democratic elections take place that involved the poorer sections of the population. 1956. thus strengthening Western fears. Sadat moved deftly to gain as wide a consensus as possible. Egypt was defined a democratic Republic and an independent. One of Nasser’s most ambitious goals was to unify the Arab world under Egypt’s leadership: the Arab Socialist Union was created during the initial years of Nasser’s rule. Western countries felt threatened by the loss of control over the Canal and suspended the financial aid that Egypt needed in order to complete the Aswan Dam. In it. while the President assumed many of the powers previously held by the King. although it also enshrined private property if used for the collective good. The 1971 Constitution took further steps towards a less 6 . had been President of the Assembly and held the title of Vice-President at the time of Nasser’s death. with an almost unanimous consensus. such as the right to social security and the right to adequate employment. Egyptian foreign policy stopped looking exclusively towards European countries and began to focus on the Soviet Union. included socialist concepts and did not change the President’s dominant position. but its complex structure was not completed until 1968. with the evacuation of British troops from the Suez canal (on the basis of an agreement stipulated earlier that year). During the first few months of his presidency. very few were from the working class and this led to frequent disputes between the government and parliament. On June 23. In 1954. such as building the Aswan Dam. British. freeing many of Nasser’s opponents (radical Muslims and Marxists). The intervention of the United Nations was necessary in order to cease the hostilities. 1964. A singlechamber National Assembly became Egypt’s legislative body. especially on the issue of social reform. The first elections for the 350-member National Assembly took place in 1957. and French troops. a new Constitution was approved by a national referendum. especially in terms of financial aid. A new Constitution. and nationalised the Suez Canal in 1956. 1967 and with Nasser’s death on September 28.

html . problems related to the Israeli-Palestinian question led to frequent tensions: the disarrangement of the Bar Lev Israeli defence line that presided over parts of the Sinai peninsula occupied by the Jewish stare in made up of left-wing opponents within the Arab Socialist Union. the country oscillated between the Western and Soviet orbits while trying to gain the support it needed in order to deal with a disastrous economic situation. In July 1978 Sadat dissolved the Arab Socialist Union and replaced it with his own National Democratic Party. May 2003 7 . Sadat brought Egyptian foreign policy to a turning point when he launched the process that led to the beginning of the Camp David negotiations between Sadat and the Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin. exemplified by law n. and proposed a reform of the Arab Socialist Union that aimed to achieve a better representation of the various factions that existed within the party.authoritarian regime. On the internal front. Sadat also tackled the single party problem. This process brought about Egypt’s isolation in the Arab world and to sour relations with a 3 See http://www. which is still current today. Sadat sought to maintain continuity with Nasser’s policies on Arab unity: on January 1. The Socialist Labour Party. 1977. which was presented to the Arab Socialist Union in the so-called “October paper”: this was a programme of gradual economic liberalisation aiming to attract new foreign investment through commercial unions or requests for financing. 1974 (Sinai 1) led to Israel’s withdrawal from the Suez Canal and its reopening the following year. and the Yom Kippur war of 1973 necessitated new diplomatic interventions: a first agreement between Egypt and Israel on August 18. The negotiations resulted in an agreement on two essential points: a draft peace treaty between Egypt and Israel and a Middle East peace plan. the Federation of Arab Republics was born. Sadat mustered the necessary consensus to launch his “open door policy”.jajz-ed. but at the same time dictated that party programmes could not be in contrast with the overarching principles of Islamic law. The Parliament was significantly strengthened and the country’s official name became the Arab Republic of Egypt. while a second agreement stipulated on September 1. but Egypt’s policies with regards to Israel nullified all the projects tied to the federation (the proposed union with Libya was postponed indefinitely). 40 of July 2. These timid attempts at pluralism were counterbalanced by strict laws on the country’s political security. 1972. 1975 (Sinai 2) brought several important oil wells (such as Abu Rodais) vital to the country’s economic recovery back under Egyptian control. became the major opposition which severely banned the creation of political parties on religious bases. In the meantime. Throughout the 1970’s.

in part because the acceptance of Israel on Egypt’s part shattered Arab unity. great efforts were made to pursue the development of nuclear energy. accompanied by a crackdown on the part of the authorities. His successor Hosni Mubarak harshly repressed Islamic fundamentalism. 1979. Rifaat El Maghoub became Prime Minister in May 1983 after the death of his predecessor Moiheddin. with some massive strikes and several instances of heavy-handed police intervention to break up disorders that began to increasingly look like revolts. and the outlawing of several newspapers and other media.part of the Palestinian world. Social malcontent grew over the following years. and Islamic law was enshrined as the principal source for Egyptian law. which led to a parliamentary debate that created a parliamentary commission to tackle the issue. an economist whose main goal was to tackle the country’s serious economic problems. as was the constitutional status of the Arab Socialist Union. The peace treaty was finally signed in Washington on March 26. which gave him the power to take urgent measures in support of the country’s unity and security. There was a general tendency for increasing influence on the part of fundamentalist groups. 8 . Tensions came to a head in the summer of 1981. when Ali Lufti. Islamic movements began calling for the application of the Sharia (Islamic Law). In 1980. strict limitations on political activities. with an internal cabinet of six deputy prime ministers. Sadat had to resort to Article 74 of the Constitution. On May 22. These changes towards economic liberalisation were accompanied by an increasing influence on the part of Islamic fundamentalists. but his Interior Minister Ahmed Rusdhi was forced to resign. Nevertheless. while Egypt gained favour with the Western world. 1980 a popular referendum approved important amendments to the 1971 Constitution: the prohibition on allowing a president to serve more than two terms was abolished. general Kamal Hassin Ali formed a new government in July 1984 that lasted until September 1985. Sadat also assumed the title of Prime Minister. From an economic point of view. but also launched an anti-corruption campaign that targeted Sadat’s brother among others. became Prime Minister. President Mubarak managed to emerge relatively unscathed from this incandescent situation. with serious clashes between Christian Copts and Islamic fundamentalists. 1981. It marked a radical shift in Egypt’s foreign policy. This dramatic situation culminated in Sadat’s assassination at the hands of a fundamentalist group on October 6. and Egypt stipulated a mutual investment promotion agreement with the United States. Sadat’s establishment continued to play an important role in both government and economics. leading to arrests.

The Head of State is the pre-eminent figure in the country’s political and institutional life: his leadership is strongly felt and he holds considerable personal powers that are normally exercised with much leeway. and Sadat as the military commander of an army that won a historic battle against Israel.The delicate role that Egypt has always had to play in the Middle East is undoubtedly one of the main reasons why the country has often lagged behind in tackling its economic problems and administrative needs. It is interesting to note that judiciary power often assumes the role that normally belongs to parliamentary opposition groups. having pacified in part the political arena. and foreign investment. Arab. Over the lat few years. Both Nasser and Sadat acquired great personal prestige: Nasser as a hero of the revolution and subsequently as an outspoken leader of the Arab world. If this trend continues the government might be induced to intervene more incisively. launching a privatisation process. who have often turned to the judiciary branch in order to religious and social conflicts: in these cases the courts have shown little fear in making their positions known with respects to policies they consider illegal. and undertaking important reform efforts with the help of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. both religious and political). although his second show of strength – his trip to Jerusalem – did not have its desired outcome. revitalising exchange rates. although there are numerous forces that try to evade presidential control (such as the extraparliamentary opposition. 9 . Recent Egyptian political history underlines the ambivalent role of the Head of State. These aspects often ended up drawing public attention away from everyday problems. Egypt has a long tradition of personalising leadership: the popularity and authority of the government lie in large part on the charisma of its leader. Mubarak has focused on economic development by promoting local.

in “Costitutiones Africae” The Constitution was adopted in 1971 and amended in 1980 6 http://www. the seven courts of appeals in the different governorates (muhafazah) and summary courts in each district. and development plans. who serve five-year terms. The President is eligible for reelection. He is appointed by a qualified majority of the People’s Assembly and his nomination is subsequently submitted to a popular referendum for a six-year mandate.1 General Institutional Framework Egypt’s system of government is delineated in part V of the Constitution5. Law 38/72 sets its composition: 444 directly elected members. and is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. which is the highest judiciary body. The Council of the Shura (the Senate) is the consultative body and it also proposes new laws and regulations to the People’s Assembly6. Egypt. which is made up of seven chapters dealing with the following institutions: • The Head of State • The legislative branch – the People’s Assembly • The executive branch • The judiciary authority • The Supreme Constitutional Court • The Socialist Public Prosecutor • The Armed Forces and the National Defense Council The Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt proclaims Egypt as an Arab state with a democratic system. The government is the supreme executive and administrative body of the state. budgets.assembly.jsp?levelid=2&levelno=1&parentlevel=0 10 . De It is made up of the Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister. The President sets general state policy. who was elected to a fourth term in October 1999. oversees its implementation. Egypt has a multi-party system: law 40 of 1977 regulates the formation of political parties and prohibits their creation on a religious basis. There are 4 5 K. The Constitution calls for the composition of the People’s Assembly to be regulated by ordinary law. The President of the Republic is the Head of State and holds the executive power. Judiciary authority is exercised through four different types of justice courts: the Supreme Constitutional Court. who heads the government and oversees its work. plus 10 members appointed by the President. It approves laws. The People’s Assembly is the legislative arm of the state.CHAPTER II – THE INSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM4 II. the Court of Cassation. The current Head of State is Hosny

Administratively. guaranteeing respect for the constitution and for the rule of law. Gharbiya. headed by Hasan Rajab. 9 Art. ensuring national unity and overseeing the separation of powers. but final approval rests in the hands of the people. by deemphasising its socialist nature and shifting the ideological centre of gravity towards both liberal and Islamic principles. headed by Di’a-al din Dawoud. Red Sea.currently 14 active political parties that represent the entire political spectrum.2 The constitutional organs The Head of State9 The President of the Republic is the Head of State. the President could not be re-elected beyond a second term. Ismailiya. Monofiya. Matroh. South Sinai. the Nasserist Arab Democratic Party. the Misr al-Fatah Party (Young Egypt Party). Within each district. Port Said. the Labour Party. Suez. Kena. the Umma Party. headed by Ali alDin Salih. If the Presidential office is vacant. New Valley. headed by Ibrahim Shukry. Sharkyia. headed by Khalid Muhi Eldin. Cario. North Sinai. Aswan. 73-85 7 11 . with the addition of Luxor City. headed by Mostafa Kamel Morad. the Liberal Party. The President is elected to a six-year term and is allowed to stand for re-election. Egypt is divided into 26 muhafazah (governorates)8. Beni Suef. 8 Alexandria. Until the 1980 amendments. Fayoum. Dumietta. which reflect the country’s progresses during the Nasser and Sadat eras: these amendments change the ideological basis of the Constitution. Dakahliya. headed by Fu’ad Siraj Eldin. the New Wafd Party. headed by Ahmad al-Sabahi. Sohag. Beheira. The activities of the President focus on affirming the sovereignty of the people. The most active ones are: the National Democratic Party (NDP). In 1980. He is appointed by a qualified majority of the People’s Assembly and his nomination is subsequently submitted to a popular referendum. The majority of the seats in the People’s Assembly are held by the National Democratic Party7. Egypt introduced some important constitutional amendments. headed by President Hosny Mubarak and currently the governing party. local government units provide services and designate industrial areas. Giza. Asiut. Each muhafazah is headed by a governor appointed by the President. Kalyobiya. Kafr el-Sheikh. II. the president of the People’s Assembly temporarily assumes the presidency of the republic (unless the People’s Assembly is dissolved as well). Minia. Local People’s Councils are elected bodies that are responsible for local government along with local administrative units. This procedure is a mixture of elements of direct and indirect democracy: a representative institution nominates the candidate. the Green Party. the National Progressive Unionist Rally.

Extraordinary meetings (art. the Assembly of the People has three main tasks: exercising legislative power. 86-136 C 12 . The Assembly then decides whether to send the proposal to one of its specialised commissions (each with a particular field of expertise).The President can adopt urgent measures in case of threats to national unity or security. President Sadat turned to article 74 twice (in 1977 and 1981) to severely limit the exercise of political rights. Members can be revoked “on the grounds of loss of confidence or status or one of the conditions for membership. 96). Coptic Christians. proposals presented by members of parliament are referred to a special commission on legislative affairs that formulates opinions on whether proposals are suitable for submission to the Assembly. when he appointed opposition members in order to counter-balance the results of the election. Originally. this provision was meant to assure adequate representation for Egypt’s largest religious minority. The Constitution calls for half of its members to be either workers or farmers. 102) have never been called by members of the Assembly. or the loss of a member’s status as a worker of farmer upon which he was elected or the violation of the member’s mandate” (art. both President and each Assembly member can undertake legislative initiatives. the Assembly meets in force of the Constitution. The only barrier against potential abuses is the need to make a public declaration and submit emergency measures to a public referendum within six days of their adoption. but Mubarak changed their use after the May 1984 elections. Elected representatives of the People’s Assembly serve five year terms. If the decision is unfavourable. while up to 10 members can be appointed by the President. the proposal cannot be re-submitted in the same 10 Art. Electoral laws also call for the presence of women. secret suffrage. The use of these discretionary powers has often been controversial. If it is not summoned. or of threats to the constitutional role of the state’s institutions (art. but only by the President. According to article 109. In both cases. and overseeing the work of the executive branch. Almost all its members are elected through direct. In the latter case. economic planning. social planning. approving state policy. 74). The President summons the Assembly for its annual session. his justifications for emergency measures were questioned once peace was reestablished in the country. and budgets. According to article 86. the legislative procedure is complex: in an initial phase. The legislative branch10 The single-chamber People’s Assembly is Egypt’s main legislative body.

interpellations (art. the cumbersome nature of this procedure makes the resignation of an entire government quite unrealistic. The imposition. but the assembly can be dissolved by the President: since the latter heads the executive branch. Only interpellations can question the responsibility of the person under interrogation. Claims and suggestions. 119). 115). Social and religious affairs. 114). and they are used frequently. Proposals from the President are sent directly to the relevant commission. the President can issue legally binding resolutions (art. The government answers to the People’s Assembly. which comes into force only after its approval and cannot be modified without government approval (art. Media and tourism. his power is not counter-balanced by any type of control on the part of The commissions are as follows: Constitutional and legislative affairs. which can over-ride the veto with a two-thirds majority.htm. Transportation and communications. Members of parliament have three ways of obtaining information from the government: questions (art. 13 Art. Planning and budgeting. June 2003). However. 189 C 11 13 . In this case. and they can lead to a vote of no-confidence and to the resignation of a single minister or the entire cabinet. Construction and public utilities. and public questions (art. Questions and public questions are simple invitations for the government to discuss certain policies. and for this reason the vast majority of proposals are prepared by the presidential administration and by the government. especially due to the fact that the President can count on a large parliamentary majority. Public organisation and local government.sis. 12 The power of single assembly members is therefore rather limited. elaborated by the government. the relevant commission will prepare a report and submit it to the Assembly. if the Assembly’s decision is favourable. and abolishment of general taxes falls within the competences of the Assembly (art. which then votes on it. Economic affairs. Education and scientific research. modification. Health and environmental issues. Industry and energy. Defence and national security. 108) if he obtains the support of two-thirds of the Assembly.session. The President can veto proposals approved by the Assembly. Currently. the People’s Assembly exercises legislative power through 18 commissions. Culture. 125). Youth commission (Egypt Year Book 2002 http://www. 124). Workforce. in cases of “necessity or exceptional circumstances”. 129).11 Proposals are adopted by an absolute majority of those present and are voted upon on an article by article The Assembly approves the general plan for social and economic development (art. Public housing. Waqf. and the budget. the proposal is sent back to the Assembly.12 Laws to revise the Constitution require complex procedures that must be initiated by the President or by one-third of the assembly’s members.

accredits foreign diplomatic missions. nevertheless. the assembly was dissolved in order to avoid criticism or dissent. and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The figure of the Vice-President is rather diminished. the People’s Assembly is more akin to an instrument for dialogue with the government rather than an institution that can effectively oversee government policy. 138). Mirel. The People’s Assembly has a constructive opposition role (encouraged by Sadat). he can appoint or dismiss the Prime Minister and other ministers. In 1980 President Sadat 14 P. An attempt to remedy this was made in 1971. 4 pp.the assembly. but it is not capable of questioning the President’s legislative and executive power. Le Parlement égyptien. the most important role of a vice president remains tied to the continuity of power. but both Sadat and Mubarak were Vice-Presidents when they were appointed President. The President has decisive powers visa-vis the government. The wide range of the President’s executive powers and his ability to manoeuvre the cabinet to his liking give him an enormous personal authority. and can re-arrange the Council if he feels it necessary. Revue Juridique et Politique. According to some scholars14. There is no binary exercise of power. The executive branch15 The President holds executive power (art. While in traditional presidential systems the Vice-President replaces the President whenever necessary. and only with the approval of a referendum. In April 1979. 1980. controls foreign policy. in Egypt the President can appoint as many VicePresidents as he likes. especially p. the Vice-President is no more important than a minister. which is a mere co-ordination body: he presides over meetings of the Council of Ministers and has regulatory powers that can be delegated. As long as the President is in charge. 137). The President shares with the government the power to “lay down the general policy of the State and supervise its implementation” (art. when a provision was approved that explicitly limited the President’s power to dissolve the assembly to cases where this was necessary. 1971-1979. 137-164 C 14 . but he has a limited role given the President’s extensive powers. The Prime Minister oversees the government's work. following the signature of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. The President is in charge of all civil and military appointees. an dismiss them. the President remains the sole arbiter of necessity. 841-856. 856 15 Art. signs treaties (in some cases subject to approval on the part of the People’s Assembly).

after the adoption of the Constitution. based in part on the French model. Each minister is the administrative head of their department. the State Council is also responsible for disciplinary measures against state officials. The Supreme Constitutional Court was 16 17 Art. The Prime Minister’s main competences are in national policy. The State Council has jurisdiction over administrative disputes and disciplinary cases (art. it also settles electoral disputes and those related to negative opinions of the Commission on parties17. the Supreme Constitutional Court can express its opinion on the constitutionality of legislative texts and settle conflicts of competence between tribunals. and has significant leeway within his or her field of competence. The State Security Court (art. for both civil and penal cases. 179) created by law in 1969 deals with questions regarding judiciary organisation. which gives its opinion. when the court approved the reconstitution of the party against the decision of the Commission on parties and the Prime Minister’s wishes. 172). It was created in 1879 and re-designed. 171) was created in 1980. 165-179 C An example of this is the decision on the case of the Wafd party. it also plays a consultative role in the legislative process. The lower court then sends the case to the Supreme Constitutional Court. The Supreme Constitutional Court is responsible for the judicial revision of legislative and executive acts (art. 15 . it is responsible for taking disciplinary measures against judges. The State Council has jurisdiction over appeals against the decisions of lower administrative courts. Many of its cases involve members of banned political parties or of Islamic movements.himself became Prime Minister and appointed six deputy prime ministers in order to form an internal cabinet. 175) and exercises control over the constitutionality of laws and regulations. Its jurisdiction can be invoked by plaintiffs in instances of first degree judgement. The highest level of appeals is the Court of Cassation. located in Cairo. The judiciary branch16 The Constitution protects the independence and the immunity of judges (art. Summary Courts and Courts of First Instance are the lowest level courts. Appeals Courts handle second degree appeals: there are six of them. then sends it back. they answer only to the rule of law and their status is irrevocable. It examines the sentences of the Appeals Courts. in 1946. Its members are appointed by the President and cannot be revoked. with three judges each. It acquired its current form in 1971. Upon request from the Minister of Justice. such as the Al-Jihad movement. Along with being an administrative tribunal. some of whom have turned to terrorism. 64). A Supreme Council (art.

a multi-party assembly. 140 of whom are elected through a system by which the party that obtains an electoral majority is awarded all the seats. the party was headed by a central commission that met twice a year to discuss the implementation of the congress’ resolutions and general national and international policy questions. 18 Information on the Supreme Constitutional Court is available at : the general policy of the Arab Socialist Union was discussed at the national level in the National Congress. which replaces the preceding Central Commission of the Arab Socialist Union. and his actions are subject to the control of the People’s Assembly. When the Arab Socialist Union was dissolved in 1980. In the recent past. Half of the 140 seats are renewed every three years. the safety of the society and its political system. and replaces the previous constitutional court.accpuf. set up by Law 81/1969. The first election took place in October 1983. to “protect moral values from indecent behaviour”). and commitment to the socialist behaviour” (art. consolidating national unity and social peace.18 The Socialist Public Prosecutor promotes all the procedures “which secure the people’s rights. while the remaining 70 members are appointed by the President. he gained the authority to interrogate prisioners arrested after September 1981 (Law n. At the same time.founded by Law 48/1979. the preservation of the socialist achievements. The Assembly (Shura) The Assembly (Shura) is a consultative body created in 1980. defending the socialist democratic system. the Central Commission was replaced by the Shura. Starting in 1968. and amplifying its scope. it has focused on prosecuting those who have been involved in financial fraud19. May2003 19 A famous case regarded a money changer whose trial led to a spectaluar raise in the dollar’s exchange rate. 16 . 95 of 1980. which convened every two years. The Socialist Public Prosecutor has also conducted political investigations: thanks to a 1980 law sponsored by Sadat. He is appointed and revoked by the President. The Shura has 210 members. Article 194 established that the Shura is responsible for safeguarding the principles of the revolution. 179).

The central administration Government and ministries The Government is made up of the Prime Minister and the following ministries: 1. 8. 22. 3. 5. 33. 21. 13. 4. 18. 23. 28. 34. 2. 32. 7. 12. 26. 19. 6. 9. 31. 27. 29. 25. 17. 11. 16. 10. 30.II. 3. 15. 20. 24. 14. Ministry of Construction and Urban Communities Ministry of Agriculture Ministry of Civil Aviation Ministry of Communication Ministry of Communication and Information Technology Ministry of Culture Ministry of Defense Ministry of Education Ministry of Electricity and Energy Ministry of Finance Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Health and Population Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research Ministry of Industry and External Trade Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs Ministry of Interior Ministry of International Cooperation Ministry of Investment Ministry of Justice Ministry of Labour Ministry of Local Development Ministry of Military Production Ministry of Petroleum Ministry of Planning Ministry of Religious Endowments Ministry of Supplies and Internal Trade Ministry of Tourism Ministry of Transportation Ministry of Water Resources and Public Works Ministry of Youth State Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs State Ministry for Shura (Consultative) Council Affairs State Ministry of Administrative Development State Ministry of Environmental Affairs 17 .

20. 24 hours a day. The Ministry of Public Sector Entrepreneurship is in charge of privatisations.sis. in collaboration with the other state ministries. May 2003 18 . Particular attention has recently been paid to technological innovation: the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. • Adapting administrative reform to the new global order inspired on the principles of and regional economic unions. • Decentralisation and devolution of functions (local communities are recognised as the main pillars of the country’s development) • Implementation of a human resource training and specialisation programme. and administrative simplification. but also aim to facilitate access to services. These efforts include plans to make documents and information accessible to citizens at the nearest post office. liberalisation. in line with the principles of efficiency. E-government efforts in Egypt go beyond the mere computerisation of public offices.Intervention sectors From an organisational and institutional point of view. adopted a public sector reform initiative aiming to improve the quality of services offered to the citizenry and promoting increased citizen participation in the country’s political and institutional affairs. the State Ministry for Administrative Development is in charge of administrative reform. 20 http://www. 2002 the Ministry for Local Development and the United Nations signed an agreement to launch a joint project to develop ICT skills within a framework of local community empowerment. and pursues the following goals: • Defining a new role for administrative institutions in a market economy. efficacy. • Implementation of a privatisation programme. or even from their own homes. • Adapting the administrative structure to new national and international conditions. and de-regulation. . On September 21. but the activities of this ministry have a limited impact on the country’s administrative free exchange.

There are elected people’s councils at both the governorate and district levels. generated with the proceeds from the sale of land. These are the executive branches of the government. The governorates control the central government funds channelled by the Ministry of Planning for five-year development plans. (Programme on Governance in the Arab Region). They are responsible for local development. 19 . and license . and municipalities are part of the central budget approved by the legislative branch. and industrial and free areas. Municipal elections for people’s councils take place every four years. POGAR. such as salaries and debt management. Voter turnout was estimated at 20%. The bureaucracy was modelled on Nasser’s development and centralisation plans. and they also control a share of the local development funds. but also over arid lands. transfers of central government funds account for 90% of local revenue. but these bodies have very limited powers compared to the executive councils. Egypt (http://www. infrastructure development. Egypt’s governmental institutions have strongly favoured centralisation. and provision of public services. Other local revenue includes profits from the sale of urban real estate. education. Two of the main sources of local capital are the national Special Funds Account and the budgets of the municipal people’s councils. arable land. Although in recent years Mubarak has undertaken efforts to streamline and localise the public administration. and they exercise their authority over vast urban areas. Egypt remains highly centralised. Opposition parties criticised the government for electoral fraud and political repression. Most local and regional funds are earmarked for spending that has already been decided. Governorates are headed by a governor and an executive council appointed by the President. May 2003). districts.undp-pogar. At a lower level. 4. there are 126 administrative districts. The NDP won uncontested elections in 49% of districts. The elected councils have limited powers and most of their members (95%) come from the National Democratic Party (NDP)22. 22 As an example. versus 11550 opposition and independent candidates. the NDP presented 47000 candidates during the April 1997 municipal elections. 21 UNDP (United Nation Development Programme). There are 4496 villages/municipalities and 199 cities/municipalities. Sub-national government bodies have limited fiscal autonomy: all the budgets of the governorates. Local administrations Decentralisation and the management of municipalities21 Historically.II. The lack of capital at the local level hinders local government ability to implement development projects. registration taxes for vehicles. Municipalities are controlled by an executive council appointed by the central government. despite the fact that the country is divided into 26 governorates. They are responsible for health.

The tasks of local authorities are disciplined by ordinary laws. Decentralisation and local government problems in Egypt have been the object of research on the part of the University of Cairo’s Economic and Political Science Department’s Public Administration Research & Consultation such as the right to ask questions and have debates and discussions. In particular. May 2003 25 ALI EL SAWY. the styles of decentralization. The Egyptian local administrative system is one of the oldest modern local administrative The section on concepts includes decentralization. dating back to the local councils created in 1883 during the British occupation.usaid. 24 23 20 . The second chapter is entitled "The Political Framework of Local Administration in Egypt". the local councils have no independent http://www. since there are no specific provisions for them in the Constitution. where there is a clear separation of powers between legislative and executive authorities. The Problems Of Local Organization In May 2003). the Councils are allowed to use Parliamentary-type powers.html. It tackles the goals and main concepts of the local system in modern society. The first deals with the theoretical framework and the main concepts. government officials developed programmes to increase the devolution of authority to local governments. In collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development23 and the United Nations.parc. It is entitled "The Imperatives of the Local System and Decentralization". giving the central government ample powers to oversee these activities and to provide a certain amount of uniformity in administrative styles. May 2003 PARC: http://www. The councils can ask these questions to the executive branch. It deals with the relationship between the central-local entities in modern Egyptian history.html. and methods of supervision. 1999 (cfr. In this case. and increase its participation in rural development. The system was based on a French model. The solutions vary from the legislative ones (suitable for organizing the relations between the new communities and the old localities) or the continuous training for local human resources. The book is divided into four chapters.Egypt’s government has implemented a certain number of coordination programmes with international assistance. The chapter examines the main problems of the local system that need to be solved. and is based on the possibility of organising local powers in general terms through legislation. The fourth chapter is entitled "The Seven Problems of the Egyptian Local System". organizational. and administrative dimensions. A recent publication25 examines the theoretical framework for local administration in Egypt and highlights some of its difficulties. in order to increment local institutional capacities and improve administrative efficiency.parc. however. It highlights the roles played by the organs and ministries in relation to local administration. This chapter analyzes the relations among local organs and the control mechanisms. administrative http://www. much like in presidential systems. The third chapter deals with "The Organization Structure of the Localities" from the legal.

27 http://www. the lack of a strategic plan or an comprehensive approach to development has led to significant environmental problems. the governor or the Supreme Council of the Local Administration. which they exercise under the supervision of the central government. they all have the same social needs. Case studies in the industrial district of Assuit. centralisation levels are too high and must be reduced. The need to solve them led to the drafting of an Environmental Planning and Management Model (EPM) that was conceived and developed with the help of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS/Habitat)27.constitutional powers. although each new city is different. Borg El Arab and El Nahada highlighted certain common features: new cities provide opportunities to experiment with new management paths. agricultural drainage and municipal and industrial waste water polluted Lake Timash. agricultural land must be valorised as much as possible since it is an important source of wealth for new cities. The case of Ismailia: local government and environmental policies The urban governorate of Ismailia is a particularly interesting case study. The government has encouraged the creation of an organisation of investors to improve the level of services provided. Many of the cities that were studied lacked systematic and efficient urban planning efforts. Local councils have very limited powers. City management The management of the new urban areas that are developing themselves in Egypt has led to some theoretical and practical discussion on the best urban management and governance methods to be used26.parc. in Ramadan City.html (May 2003). the main source of fish and the main tourism and recreation centre for the population of Ismailia. which then became the base for a broader project 26 See Ahmed Saker Ashour’s conference on “Managing the New City” available: http://www. which requires weaving a network of social relations among citizens. This city has seen a rapid growth in its population and urbanisation in the last 25 21 . These problems became pressing in the early 1990’s. For example. Although the governorate’s five districts (marakiz) each have their individual problems. the overall themes remain the same. Project management is far simpler than managing urban societies. There are two main approaches to the management of new cities: managing projects and managing urban Nevertheless. The latter two institutions have absorbed some of the powers that the central government used to exercise with regards to local elected

through a three-pronged effort: a strategic development plan for Ismailia that included the key elements for environmental management. The city of Ismailia. with a particular focus on community participation. The project aimed to promote sustainable development of the city from the environmental. There have also been negative influences on the project: the most important one was a reluctance to share information. An initial drastic change was the emergence of a sense of stewardship for the lake. and putting sustainable development at the heart of local debate. The governorate became the national implementing agency. the creation of an investment portfolio and of technical assistance projects to sustain development. financial. the presence of institutional rivalries. through the launching of the Sustainable Ismailia Project (SIP). and became a template for other cities – not just Egyptian ones – who participated in the programme. teamwork. Furthermore. Certain factors played a key role in this process: the complexity of the environmental problems (especially those related to the need for the ecological restoration of Lake Timash). while the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was the main source of funds. upgrade social and productive infrastructure. political commitment. and strengthening private and public institutional capacities to plan and coordinate urban growth and development. the project created long-lasting changes in approaches to administrative models that require co-ordination. which gave crucial support in terms of capital and know-how). a working methodology that has not yet been fully implemented by local authorities. but also the centralised nature of prior development plans. and the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS) was the agency in charge of technical cooperation. was selected for the first pilot SCP project in the Arab region in 1992. The changes in political leadership that Ismailia has had in the last decade impacted the continuity of the project. when prior to the project the various actors blamed one another for the lake’s pollution. and protect the city’s natural and environmental resources. One of the project’s main successes was the promotion of greater awareness of environmental problems at the governorate and city level. and the capacity of the problem to attract resources and interest. and the control on the part of the army and the Suez Canal 22 . but the technical quality of the project was high enough to keep it going throughout. This project was successful. and proposed adapted versions of it for the remaining four districts of the governorate.regarding a global network of cities called the Sustainable City Programme (SCP). and institutional points of view. and information sharing. the desire on the part of shareholders to participate and co-operate. The project revolved around a complete strategic plan. their urgency. The governorate then further institutionalised the project (which included numerous stakeholders such as UN agencies and agencies from foreign countries such as Sweden. capital of the governorate of the same name.

The strategic question of how and where to address future projects has not yet been fully solved. United Nations Development Programme UNDP. the same can be said of the links between urban planning and environmental problems – there are ample margins for improvement in this sector.authority of certain important plots of land that hindered the rapid implementation of development plans. 28 http://www. The project. United Nations Human Settlements Programme . which had originally been launched in 1992.unhabitat.UN-Habitat).htm. with continuing input from national and foreign agencies (Social Development Fund of Egypt.DANIDA. was re-launched and partly institutionalised in 199728 with a stronger participation on the part of the Governorate of and to update projects that had already been launched. Danish International Development Agency . (May 2003) 23 . These problems led to more projects being addressed towards areas where the city had previous successes.

III. 2. The budget can also be balanced by generating a surplus in the current budget of up to 2 billion. Significant progress was made in the 1990’s.CHAPTER III – THE ECONOMY III. Macro-economic indicators 30 Egypt’s recent economic history has had alternate fortunes.The five-year development plan29 Egypt is trying to develop a far-reaching plan. and with the next 20 years in mind. in order to improve living conditions in villages and activate local resources tied to tourism.I. 1.2% through the five-year plan.sis. against a deficit that was estimated at 11. 6) Increasing women’s participation in the labour force. up to 18% in the first year of the plan (up from 17.7%) and increasing to 19. Data analysis performed by C. 8) Strengthening security throughout the country. 3) Increased employment 4) Increased economic growth rates that should reach an annual average of 6.MED. with adequate support from the armed forces and the police. 24 . 2) Improvement of measures to support families. 5) Balancing the budget by improving monetary and financial stability through monetary and financial policy tools that will help accelerate development rates. with long-term goals to be met by 2022. which allowed it to receive significant financial help and the cancellation of half its foreign debt. due in part to Egypt’s pro-western stance during the Gulf War. This economic recovery allowed Egypt to become the 29 30 with positive effects on macroeconomic indicators. In order to meet this goal. which would bring GDP up to 415 billion Egyptian pounds. 7) Improving basic systems in rural areas. starting from the development plans launched in the last 20 years.A. May 2003. During the first year of the five-year plan.2% by the end of the plan. The main goals of the five-year plan are as follows: 1) Better living standards through the improvement of basic services. services and exports would need to grow at an annual rate of 10%.6%. the desired real GDP growth rate is for an average annual growth rate of 4.7 billion in 2001/2002.

in part due to the new monetary policies adopted by the government. Internal demand is particularly strong for durable consumer goods. the oil sector for 8%.almishkat. Almishkat Centre for Research. In other words. Nader: “Science and research for development in the Arab region”. and to achieve improved standards of living and better infrastructure. medical expenses. and household goods. Egypt was not the second richest country in the region after Saudi Arabia but the one with the highest gross expenditures on human capital formation (Fergany. February 1999. and Saudi Arabia the largest share of GDP. and the imports of goods and services (24% of GDP). the construction sector for 6%. the agricultural sector accounted for 16% of GDP. As a part of its MEDA programme – tied to the Euro-Mediterranean partnership – the European Union earmarked € 250 million to promote the industrial development programme. the mining and manufacturing sector for 20%. Egypt (www. GDP composition (2000/2001) oil sector 8% construction 6% agriculture 16% mining and manufacturing 20% services 50% Internal demand is greater than internal offer by 6 percentage points: this difference arises from the difference between the exports of goods and services (18% of GDP). with an eye towards the implementation of a free exchange regime. In 2000/2001. Egypt having the largest population. Nevertheless. and 50% for the service sector.second largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia31. It should however be pointed out that Egypt and Saudi Arabia dominate the basic resource base in the Arab world. Inflation is slowing 31 25 . a new phase of political inertia has aggravated deficit and export problems (tied in part to monetary policy choices).

• An increasing. Slower growth is related to a crisis in liquidity that began in the late 1990’s and aggravated itself in the last two years. support the industrialisation process. Thanks to subsequent updates. the international scenario and the delicate situation in the Middle East can have a significant impact on the country’s economy. the needs to modernise the primary sector. when the country undertook a series of economic reform through an adjustment programme implemented with the help of the IMF. including a strongly negative balance of payments and the triple devaluation of the currency in 2001. The crisis had consequences on the exchange rate. which had been in negotiation since 1995.3% from 4. which created problems for the privatisation process and for the implementation of development models based on market liberalisation.In its September 2001 World Economic Outlook. • The development of distribution networks (such as shopping malls). Nevertheless.9%. 26 . and improve the quality of life of the citizenry (especially the middle class) has led to several problems. Egypt has been characterised by moderate but constant growth. The main reason for this crisis is Egypt’s monetary policy. The restructuring of monetary policy can be a significant impulse in directing economic growth. • 32 This agreement. has often been considered damaging to Egyptian exports. 2001. Egypt is currently undergoing the final phase of an important transition programme that was launched by Sadat. Indicators of the opening of the Egyptian market include: Increasing numbers of international trade fairs since 1995 (no less than 50 trade fairs currently take place in Cairo every year). the IMF corrected the Egyptian government’s growth rate projections. which would be threatened by European products that are more technologically advanced. which is undergoing changes that are not yet sufficient to make up for previous mistakes. which dropped to 3. and increasingly diversified supply of consumer goods reflects the recent evolution of the composition of demand on the part of families. In February 2001. Over the last six years. the stock market saw some significant losses. Egypt signed an association agreement with the European Union in order to create a Euro-Mediterranean free exchange area32. Egypt announced a new fluctuation policy. which currently satisfy the needs of the middle and upper classes. Despite the government’s commitment. On June 26. this policy led to an equilibrium in the balance of payments.

In order to fully achieve recovery. real GDP rose by 4.8 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Unemployment is falling steadily and reached 7.8% in 1998/1999 .According to data supplied by the CBE (Central Bank of Egypt).6 % in 2000. Egypt will have to guarantee clear rules. Summary of macro-economic indicators 27 . Unemployment rate. 1996-2000 8. efficiency.6 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Although the Egyptian government promised.8 3.9 7.4%. deep structural reforms (such as privatisations in several sectors. the inflation rate in 2000/2001 was 2. Inflation rate. joint ventures). attraction of foreign capital for industrial collaboration.8% in 1999/2000 and 3.8 8.9 7. and transparency for investors.5 7. an amount equivalent to 316 million Egyptian pounds. versus 2.4 2. including banking. According to the same data.9 % in the 2000/2001 fiscal year (which ends in June).2 3. and although these reforms stimulated investment and led to a gradual economic recovery. they remain insufficient. 1996-2000 8.8 2. and in some cases launched.

9 49.8 8.446 2000/01 97.3 5.2 -0.6 3.5 7078 16432 7.7 48.5 6388 17861 7.4 --27.389 3.GDP (in billions of US$) Real GDP (growth in %) Per capita GDP (US $) Average inflation (in %) Public debt/GDP (%) Public foreign debt / GDP ratio (%) Foreign deficit/GDP ratio (%) 1996/97 75.7 4445 17008 7.388 average) Source: Economist Intelligence Unit.9 1493 2.0 1997/98 82.2 48.5 4.1 1532 2.1 1411 3.0 48.4 6.0 1998/99 88.8 -4.9 28.850 Exports (in millions of US $) 5345 5128 Imports(in millions of US $) 15565 16899 Urban unemployment (in %) 8.0 38.8 -4.7 1342 3.8 34.396 1999/00 98.0 5.6 5. 2002 28 .8 -1.3 1258 8.9 3.9 3.5 Egyptian pound/US $ (annual 3.7 31.

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