Political Condition in Egypt

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Egypt is politically stable, but there have been many examples of unrest in recent years. Egypt has only a limited democracy, where elections allow only some political parites, and the elections have proven to allow few changes from pre-democratic times. Still, Egypt has made great advances, and may arrive at a true democracy in the coming years. The main challenge is the Muslim Brotherhood, which run for elections, but which adhere to an anti-democratic ideology. Their strength in the 2005 elections may stop Egypt's Western allies from pushing the democratic reforms any further. Egypt is a country with a fair amount of freedom of speech, and civil rights are in most cases well secured. At the present, the militant wings of Islamist groups (to which the Muslim Brotherood also belong) represent at the moment little threat to the Egyptian government, although the situation was uncertain after the bomb attacks at the tourist resort Sharm el-Sheikh in 2005. At the present, there is about 17,000 political prisoners in Egypt. A majority of these are Islamists (according to The Egyptian Organization of Human Rights). Egypt's political system receives strong financial support from the U.S., and, given all the challenges of the Egyptian state, they cannot do without this aid. The Egyptian constitution defines the country as "an Arab Republic with a democratic, socialist system." The political power in the Egyptian system is divided into 4 parts: president, cabinet, legislature and court system; but actual power rests in the hands of the president. The president is elected for a period of 6 years through a referendum. The president has the power to appoint, dismiss and dissolve the other three parts of the system. Egypt is divided into 26 governorates, each is with a governor appointed by the president. Old political parties were abolished in 1953, and from 1962 to 1976 the Arab Socialist Union (ASU) was the only legal political party. Three political groups were in 1976...
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