Sekondi Accra

Mohamed Morsi Isa al-Ayyat is the fifth and current President of Egypt, having assumed office on June 30, 2012. Morsi was a Member of Parliament in the People's Assembly of Egypt from 2000 to 2005 and a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). He became Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), a political party, when it was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. He stood as the FJP's candidate for the May-June 2012 presidential election. On June 24, 2012, the election commission announced that Morsi won Egypt's presidential runoff against Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak. According to official results, Morsi took 51.7% of the vote while Shafiq received 48.3%. Morsi resigned from his position as the head of the FJP after his victory was announced.

Egypt's economic outlook is expected to remain strong, largely due to rising consumption and foreign direct investment. However, the problem which toppled Mubarak from office still remains. Precisely, the benefits of sustained growth over more than five years have not trickled down to the lower echelons of society. Any post Mubarak government must find a solution not only to this but a myriad of vexing problems which include: energy shortages, substandard education, high unemployment and weak infrastructure.

Before Mubarak was driven from his presidency, there was wide speculation that his son Gamal, a former banker and leader of the policy committee of the National Democratic Party (NDP) would succeed him. However given the recent turn of events, there is absolutely no possibility of his succession to the presidency. Still it will be interesting to observe what roles, if any, Gamal Mubarak and his siblings will play in Egyptian politics should they survive incarceration. Many political analysts now talk about a possible presidential candidacy bid by General Suleiman. However, before the revolution, a series of constitutional amendments forbade Suleiman and other opposition leaders from becoming candidates. These stipulate that a contender must have held a senior position in a registered political party for at least a year or, if running as an independent, be endorsed by 250 members of elected assemblies and municipalities, all of which were, and may still be, dominated by the NDP.

Two additional players may exert considerable influence in determining the new face of Egyptian politics. Since returning to Egypt in February 2010 Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Laureate and former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), had been petioning, through the formation of the coalition National Association for Change (NAC), for a change to electoral laws that would allow him and others to enter the presidential race along with increasing judicial oversight of the proceedings. Despite an official ban, the Muslim Brotherhood has been the most organized and the strongest opposition movement in Egypt. The NAC collected over million signatures for its reform campaign with assistance from the Muslim Brotherhood. Before the change in Egypt's leadership, the MB had stated that it would not enter a presidential candidate to run as an independent in 2011. However, after an announcement that it would field candidates in the November 2010 parliamentary elections, police arrested more than 250 supporters in a two week period, citing a ban on religious-based campaigning.

The emergency laws enacted throughout Mubarak's tenure allowing for arbitrary arrests and prolonged detention without trial will hopefully disappear now that he is no longer in office. Access to independent media and the Internet should increase to new levels. The international ramifications of a new Egyptian government are notable. Among some of the most critical questions: Will the new government still prohibit the flow of arms into Gaza? What will be their take on Israel and the Palestinian issue? Will the new regime have a closer relationship with Iran? Then there is the fiscal side of the equation. The recent social upheaval has clearly taken a toll on the economy affecting the primary sources of revenue: tourism, foreign investment, Suez Canal receipts and remittances from workers abroad. One can only wonder what stance foreign investors will take on these new developments. It is hoped that the promises of the 2011 election with the possibility of independent bids for the presidency will impanel a visionary group of progressive leaders who will pave the way to a brighter future for all Egyptians. It will be most interesting to witness what transpires as events play themselves out.


Official Data


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The U.S. Embassy is located at 310 Avenue des Aviateurs, Kinshasa (tel. 243-81-2255872; fax 243-81-3010561). Mailing address is American Embassy Kinshasa, Unit 2220, DPO AE 09828.
Egypt maintains an embassy in the United States at 3521 International Court NW, Washington, DC, 20008 (tel. 202-895-5400). The Washington consulate has the same address (tel. 202-966-6342). The Egyptian Mission to the United Nations is located at 304 East 44th Street, New York, NY (tel. 212-305-0300). Egyptian consulates general are located at: 1110 Second Avenue, New York, NY, 10022 (tel. 212-759-7120); 1990 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 2180, Houston, TX, 77056 (tel. 713-961-4915); 500 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1900, Chicago, IL, 60611 (tel. 312-828-9162); and 3001 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA, 94115 (tel. 415-346-9700).
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