Foreign Affairs

POLITICAL SYSTEM
Type of Government: Republic
Constitution: The Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt, adopted in 1971 and amended in 1980, declares that Egypt is an Arab Republic with a democratic system. The Constitution further outlines Egypt’s political system and defines public authorities.
Suffrage: Universal and compulsory at age 18

Executive branch:
*Head of State: President of the Republic Mohammed Hosni MUBARAK since 14 October 1981, re-elected for a six-year term in October 1993.

Executive authority is vested in the President, who is nominated by a two-thirds majority of the People’s Assembly, then elected by popular referendum for a six-year term. The President formulates and supervises the implementation of general state policy. He also acts as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
*Government: consists of the Council of Ministers, headed since October 1999 by the Prime Minister D. Atef Obeid.

The government is the supreme executive and administrative organ of the State. The Prime Minister supervises the work of the Government. The Ministers are collectively responsible for the general policy of the State before the People’s Assembly, and every Minister is responsible for the performance of his Ministry.
The Parliament may withdraw confidence from the Cabinet or any Cabinet member.

Legislative Branch:

* People’s Assembly (Majlis al-Cha’b) is the legislative branch of the State. It approves the general policy, new laws, the budget and the development plan. According to the Constitution, the People’s Assembly is made up of 444 directly elected members and 10 members appointed by the President, who serve for a term of five years.
* Advisory Council (Majlis al-Shura) 258 seats. The Shura Council is Egypt’s consultative council. It offers advice and consultation, and proposes new laws and regulations to the People’s Assembly.

Judicial Branch:
The judicial authority is exercised through four categories of courts of justice: the Supreme Constitutional Court, which is the highest judicial body, the Court of Cessation, the seven courts of Appeal in the various Governorates, and the Summary Tribunals in the districts.
Legal System: Based on English common law, Islamic law, and Napoleonic codes; judicial review by Supreme Court and Council of State (oversees validity of administrative decisions).
Local Government
Administratively, Egypt is divided into 26 Governorates, each headed by a Governor who is appointed by the President. Within their districts, local government units establish and manage all public utilities, provide services, designate industrial areas. Local Popular Councils are elected bodies that work closely with local government administrative units at various levels.

CIVIL SOCIETY
The political system is based on a Multi-party system. Law 40 of 1977 regulates the formation of political parties in Egypt. This law prohibits the formation of political parties based on racial or religious . There are currently 14 political parties, the most active among which:
* National Democratic Party (NDP), led by President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, is the ruling party;
* The Greens Party, led by Hasan Rajab;
* Labor Party, led by Ibrahim Shukri;
* Liberal Party (LP), led by Mostafa Kamel Morad;
* Misr al-Fatah Party (Young Egypt Party), led by Ali al-Din Salih;
* Nasserist Arab Democratic Party, led by Dia’a-al din Dawoud
* New Wafd Party (NWP), led by Fu’ad Siraj Eldin;
* National Progressive Unionist Rally (NPUR), led by Khalid Muhi Eldin;
* Umma Party, led by Ahmad al-Sabahi;
In addition to political parties, a large number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) exist. Those include NGOs working in the fields of poverty alleviation, environment, women and human rights. Furthermore, there are several business association, trade unions and independent political, social and cultural think tanks and research centers.