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The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt is the elected Head of State of Egyptmarker.Under the Constitution of Egypt, the President is also the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and head of the Executive branch of the Egyptian government.

The first President of Egypt was Muhammad Naguib, one of the leaders of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, who took office on 18 June 1953, the day on which Egypt was declared a republic.

The fourth and current President of Egypt is Hosni Mubarak. His first term began on 14 October 1981, and as of September 2005 is serving his fifth term in office. There is no constitutional limit upon the number of terms that any one individual can serve as President.

Presidential powers

Under the system created by the 1980 constitutional amendments, the President is the pre-eminent executive figure, who names the Prime Minister of Egypt. During martial law, the President also anoints deans of faculties and majors, and can also enlist or oust people in the private sector. Egypt has been under martial law since 1981.When the President's political party or supporters control the Parliament, the President is effectively the dominant player in executive action, choosing whomever he wishes for governmental positions, and having the government follow his political agenda. However, should the President's political opponents control Parliament, the President's dominance would be severely limited, as he would have to select a Prime Minister and Cabinet reflecting the majority in Parliament.By convention, the President controls foreign affairs and defense-related issues of the state, while the Prime Minister manages the day-to-day affairs including the economy.

In the late 1970s, Egypt had several cohabitation governments which proved to be unstable, due to the struggle arising between the President and the Prime Minister. However, since 1981, the National Democratic Party has maintained a majority in the People’s Assembly and held the Presidency.

Requirements to hold office

Article 210 of the Egyptian Constitution establishes the requirements one must meet in order to become President. The President of the Republic should be an Egyptian Desendent from history born to Egyptian parents and enjoy civil and political rights. His age must not be less than 40 Gregorian years.

Election

Election procedures are taken before the end of the incumbent president’s term by 60 days.

Candidacy

Additional requirements were provisioned in Article 76 of the Egyptian constitution concerning candidates for the President's office.

  • A political party nominee:


A political party may nominate a member of the party's highest leadership body for the first Presidential election to be held in light of the amendment, in accordance with the by-laws of each political party.
    • The candidate must have occupied one of the top leadership positions in the party for a period of one year.
    • The political party must have been established for a period of five years, and managed to win 3% of the seats in the People’s Assembly (the lower chamber of Parliament), and 5% in the Shora Council (the upper chamber).


  • An independent candidate:


An independent candidate must receive the endorsement of 250 elected members from Egypt’s representative bodies (approximately 6.5% from a total of 3847 representatives), from which a minimum of 65 endorsements to be obtained from the People’s Assembly (which constitutes 14%), 25 endorsements from the Shoura Council (also 14%) and 10 Local Council endorsements from 14 Governorates (4.5%) in order to ensure geographic representation.

Election procedure

Old system

Under the 1980 amendments of the Egyptian Constitution, the President of Republic is elected indirectly in a two-stage system unique to Egypt. The People’s Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, nominates one of a number of candidates for presidency. The presidential candidate requires at least a two-thirds majority in the People’s Assembly in order to proceed to the second stage of the elections. The presidential candidate is voted on in a yes-or-no binding public referendum. On achieving a simple majority in the public referendum, the presidential candidate is sworn in as President. However, if the candidate is fails to obtain the required majority, the People’s Assembly nominates a new candidate for presidency, thus returning to the first stage of elections. The President may be re-elected multiple times with no limitatios Assembly to put forward their candidate as the presidential candidate.

Current system

In February 2005, President Mubarak asked the Egyptian Parliament to pass a new Election law that would allow a change to the country's presidential elections. President Mubarak’s letter to Parliament outlined a set of principles to be included in the new constitutional amendment. These principles include:

  • The election of the President of the Republic by direct secret ballot from among all citizens who enjoy the right to vote.
  • Ensuring the necessary guarantees for multiple candidates to be put forward to the people so as to be elected by direct vote.
  • Provisions that would ensure the credibility of the nomination process.
  • Providing the opportunity for political parties to put forward one of their leaders to contest the first presidential elections to be held in light of this amendment.
  • The establishment of an Election Commission that would enjoy complete independence to supervise the election process.
  • Convening the election in a single day.
  • Provision of the required modalities to ensure judicial supervision over the voting process.


The following provisions regarding the election process are stipulated in Article 76 as amended:

A successful candidate must be elected by the majority of the votes. If no candidate attains such a majority, elections will be repeated after at least 7 days between the two candidates having the highest votes. In case of a tie between the candidate who attained the second highest votes and a third candidate, the third candidate shall participate in the second round. The candidate who receives the highest votes in the second round shall be declared President.

The amendment also provides that a law will be passed to regulate the relevant election procedures. This law is expected to regulate the various aspects of the election process itself, including campaign funding, equal access to the media, and guarantees of fair competition.

As required by the amendment, this law will be submitted to the Supreme Constitutional Court to opine on its constitutionality. This establishes an important precedent in Egypt’s legal tradition, by which the Supreme Constitutional Court shall have the right of prior review of national legislation to decide on its compatibility with the Constitution. This differs from the practice thus far by which the review process undertaken by the Court on national legislation was done subsequent to the passage of legislation.

Presidential campaign

Presidential Election Commission

The amendment to Article 76 of the constitution provides for the establishment of a “Presidential Election Commission” that would enjoy complete independence, and would be charged with the supervision of the Presidential election process.

The Commission will be composed of 10 members, presided by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court and four other ex officio members of the judiciary who are the most senior serving Deputy President of each of the Supreme Constitutional, the Court of Cassation, and the High Administrative Court, and the President of the Cairo Court of Appeal.

The rest of the Commission will be made up from five independent and neutral public figures: 3 to be selected by the Peoples Assembly and 2 to be selected by the Shoura Council.

Decisions of this Committee shall be passed by a majority of 7 votes. This Commission will have a term of five years and will be exclusively competent to supervise the presidential election process, including accepting nominations, announcing the names of accepted candidates, supervision of election procedures, vote counting and announcement of the results.

It will also have final judicial competence to rule on any contestation or challenge submitted in relation to the presidential elections, and its decision will be final and subject to no appeal. The Committee will issue its own regulations and shall be competent to establish general sub-committees from among members of the Judiciary, to monitor the various phases of the election process, under its supervision. The election process will be completed in one day.

Inauguration and oath of office

In accordance with Article 79 of the constitution, the President must take the following oath or affirmation before exercising his functions:"I swear by Almighty God to uphold the Republican system with loyalty, to respect the Constitution and the law, and to look after the interests of the people fully and to safeguard the independence and territorial integrity of the motherland".

Term(s) of office

Under the Constitution, the President serves six Gregorian years starting from the date of the announcement of result of the plebiscite. The President of the Republic may be re-elected for other successive terms.The constitution did not specify the number of terms a president shall remain in office, however recent reformers have continuously asked for such a limit to be incorporated in the constitution.

In case a term ends without a new president is chosen, the incumbent president continues to serve until a president is chosen.If the president-elect is announced before the end of the incumbent president’s term, the incumbent president continues in office till the end of his term.

, President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak has been the President of the Republic since 14 October 1981 and is currently serving his fifth term. President Mubarak was re-elected in 1987, 1993, 1999, and 2005, making him the longest serving Egyptian President in the history of the Republic.


Succession

In the case of temporary incapacitation of the president, the constitution provides the president to relinquish his powers to a vice-president. If there is no Vice President in-office, the prime minister takes office. However the person who takes office is limited in power as the new president can not dissolve the parliament, propose constitutional amendments or remove the cabinet from office.

In case of the vacancy of the Presidential office or the permanent incapacitation of the President, the Speaker of the People’s Assembly shall temporarily assume the Presidency. In case the People’s Assembly is dissolved at such a time the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court shall take over the Presidency on condition that neither shall nominate himself for the Presidency. Both are also limited in power as in they can not dissolve the parliament, remove the cabinet, propose constitutional amendments.

The People’s Assembly shall then proclaim the vacancy of the office of President, and a new president shall be chosen within a maximum period of sixty days form the date of the vacancy of the office.


Although, the constitution doesn't directly stipulate any role for the Vice-President in the process of Presidential succession, It had become a tradition for the People's Assembly to nominate the Vice-President for the vacant office of the President. Both Sadat and Mubarak served as Vice-Presidents at the time the Presidential office became vacant. Mubarak has not appointed anyone for the position of the Vice-President, although many intellectuals and activists have called for an active Vice-Presidency.

Resignation

The president may resign by delivering his resignation to the People's Assembly.The only president to resign was President Nasser, who submitted his resignation after the overwhelming Egyptian defeat in 1967 war with Israel, before returning back to office after mass demonstrations by the Egyptian public.

Official residences

The official residence and office of the president is Abdeen Palace, in Old Cairo, Cairomarker. Other Presidential Palaces include:

List of Presidents

See also



References



External links




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