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Military in Egypt
The military department of Egypt is the biggest on the continent of Africa. It is also among the biggest militaries in the world. It has been offering military help and training to some African countries as well as others from the Arab world. Despite the fact that the country is not a member of NATO, it has been supportive of the dialogue proceedings of NATO. It is among the strongest militaries in Africa whose strength can only be compared to that of Israel.
The military in Egypt is accorded a lot of power and enjoys great independence. It has great influence in business as witnessed through its involvement in road construction programs, resort management and involvement in the business of essential goods. Information concerning the military such as the number of soldiers or its budgetary allocation is held in secret and is not revealed to the public (Bowker 52).
Bureaucracy in Egypt is associated with numerous achievements such as the Agrarian reforms and construction of the Suez Canal. However, at some point the bureaucracy became a burden instead of enhancing development efforts. The military in Egypt plays an important role of defending the country in times of war. Recruitment in the military is also a way of creating employment. The military in Egypt does not interfere with democracy but rather promotes it. It works well with other forces in the country in promoting democracy.
Political Parties in Egypt
The first political party in Egypt was The National Democratic Party which came into place in 1977. While the country was still under British rule, the political parties were limited in their operations. This situation changed when the country attained independence and enacted a new constitution that gave the political parties more power.
The country attained its independence in 1922 and adopted a new constitution which increased the power of the political parties. The governance of the country also turned into a democratic one before it faced further interference from foreign powers. After 1953, one party rule was adopted in Egypt but the situation changed later and the country currently runs on a multi party system. The parties associated with the politics of Egypt are formed on the basis of certain principles. For instance, the members of the parties should not exhibit partiality regarding sex, religion, place of birth, race or creed. The National Union, The Arab Socialist Union and The Liberation Group were some of the early groups that emerged in the political scenario of Egypt. The law of the land is mandated to regulate the political parties. In a recent recommendation, formation of parties on religious has been prohibited in Egypt (Bowker 76).
Constitutionalism, Rule of Law and Its Problems
Countries that encourage democratic rule consider abuse of power as a violation of the laws that govern them. The constitution in most democratic countries demands that laws should be adhered to strictly. Laws of a country are important in promoting democracy since those in power do not have a chance to misuse their power. Laws control the political power which may be used by those in authority to deprive citizens of their rights and interfere with democracy. If state power is not controlled by set laws and procedures, it would be difficult for democracy to be achieved.
It might be difficult to bind competing elites and societal actors to the rule of law but this is important for a country to remain peaceful and intact. If these groups are left to influence the rest of the citizens, then it might be difficult to achieve peace in a country. One way of binding these groups together and ensuring that they follow the rule of law is by setting punitive measures for anyone who violates the rule of law. With punitive measures in place, competing elites and societal actors will be brought together to adhere to the rule of law (Dunne 61).
The content of the constitution and the fact that its authority emanates from the citizens makes it the supreme law. The ideas included in a constitution are strong and the government can neither come up with them nor destroy them. The sovereignty of the people and the requirement of democratic governments to be accepted by all citizens are some of the ideas. The constitution is signed by people who represent the citizens hence making it supreme law created for the citizens.
Civil Society Actors in Egypt
The civil society in Egypt is small and ineffective because it is not as vibrant as other civil societies in other countries. For a long period of time, its main objective has been to eliminate serious problems that the citizens have been facing. The civil society in Egypt is not independent since the government strongly opposes any social actions by independent groups hence it is not inclined to the government. It is oppositional since it attempts to fight against the oppressive deeds by the government. The government restricts registration of civil societies because most of the activities they are engaged in are considered to be politically sensitive. All activities aimed at fighting for human rights and looking for ways of eradicating poverty are discouraged by the government (Penelope and Susan 50).
The civil society in Egypt is not conservative but modernized. All citizens who believe in protection of human rights are encouraged to join the civil society. It operates with modern organizations because they know the importance of fighting for human rights and poverty eradication. The civil society organizations believe that a truly democratic country is one that allows organizations formed according to the law to peacefully carry out advocacy on matters of public concern. They also believe that the organizations should be able to carry out charitable activities.
Bowker, Robert. Egypt and the Politics of Change in the Arab Middle East. London: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010.
Dunne, Michele. Democracy in contemporary Egyptian political discourse. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2003.
Penelope, Andrews and Bazilli Susan. In Law and Rights:global perspectives on constitutionalism and governance. Lake Mary: Vandeplas, 2008.