Egypt. The ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) won the parliamentary election, which was held for three rounds in October and November. According to preliminary data, the party secured 312 of Parliament’s 454 seats, compared to the legal opposition’s 16. Independent candidates took 112 seats. Most of them were expected to ally with the government, but 17 of the independent members were supported by the banned organization Muslim Brotherhood. There was only one Islamist member in the outgoing Parliament. In some constituencies the result was not clear.
An explanation for the Islamists’ success was likely that the NDP wrestled with allegations of abuse of power during the year – in June, 31 people, including four leading members of the NDP, were sentenced to prison for between ten and fifteen years for embezzling in the early 1990s equivalent to $ 457 million from a number of Egyptian banks. Another explanation was that the election was the first to be monitored by independent judges. In previous elections, there have been electoral fraud that favored the NDP, and in July the country’s highest court had ruled that the 2000 elections would be spread over several days to be monitored by independent judges to a greater extent. Despite this, there were reports that the opposition candidates were arrested by police and in other rights were prevented from voting.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Egypt. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
In January, Muslim villagers killed at least 20 Christian Egyptians (Copts) in the village of al-Kusha 45 miles south of Cairo. The massacre was triggered by a dispute between a Christian businessman and one of his Muslim clients. More than 50 students were injured in early May when police fired stone-throwing Islamists demonstrating at al-Azhar University.
The country’s highest court ruled in early November that a government decree that allowed men to prevent their wives from traveling abroad was contrary to Egyptian constitution. Earlier in the year, Parliament had voted in favor of a law aimed at making it easier for women to divorce. On November 20, Egypt called its ambassador from Israel in protest against Israeli attacks on Palestinians.
50 people, including many children, were killed when a boat capsized on the Nile on August 23.
In May 2005, Parliament passed a constitutional amendment tabled by Mubarak to allow more presidential candidates to stand for the September elections. However, the opposition criticized the amendment for favoring Mubarak alone, as other candidates had to get support from at least 65 members of parliament in order to stand for election. For many, the constitutional change was merely a superficial and symbolic change to the country’s political system. For others, however, the change was a sign of a change in the attitude of the country’s political leaders, as it opened opportunities that were not under Mubarak’s control. In May, 83% voted in favor of the constitutional amendment.
Terrorists fired two large car bombs in July at a hotel complex in Sharm al-Sheikh. 67 were killed. Despite a new comprehensive wave of arrest by the authorities, they were unable to find those responsible for the action.
The September presidential election was in accordance. observers characterized by election fraud and opposition harassment. Mubarak was re-elected for a 5th term with 88.6% of the vote. Tomorrow’s Party led by Ayman Nour was the main opposition party, but it disappeared completely during the election. At the parliamentary elections, which ran for several months, the opposition was led by the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which stood in the form of independent candidates. This election, too, was marked by scams and harassment by the opposition. Mubarak’s National Democratic Party secured 2/3 of the seats in parliament. The Muslim Brotherhood, with its independent candidates, gained 87 seats – a six-fold increase to date.
In February 2006, a ferry with 1,300 passengers and crew sank during a storm in the Red Sea. The ferry was on its way from Saudi Arabia to Egypt. At least 200 did not survive the disaster.
In the same month, parliament postponed the municipal elections by two years. Acc. the government was the step needed to implement constitutional amendments that would give greater power to the municipal authorities. The opposition, in turn, criticized the decision, insisting that “the election was postponed to limit the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The Egyptian authorities decided in April to release 900 members of the radical Muslim organization al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, which has for some time been dubbed the country’s largest Islamic movement. However, human rights groups also pointed out that 15,000 Egyptians remain in prison without a sentence.
April 24, three smaller bombs dropped at the resort town of Dahab on Sinai. The bombs killed at least 23 – most Egyptians – and wounded over 60. Including 3 Danes. The attack was immediately condemned from many sides. Mubarak called the explosions a “vicious act of terror”. The Palestinian Hamas government “strongly condemned this criminal act that harms our region, shakes Palestinian national security and conflicts with Arab interests”. The Israeli ambassador to Cairo immediately urged all Israelis to leave Sinai.
In March 2007, a number of constitutional amendments were adopted as follows. observers aim to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from increasing its parliamentary representation. The constitutional amendment legalizes religious parties and gives the security forces extensive powers through anti-terror clauses. This includes the right to monitor private communications. Egypt thus aligned itself with a number of Western countries such as Denmark in the reduction of democratic and human rights.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Egypt in 2000 was 68,831,450, ranking number 15 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.000% yearly, and the population density was 69.1462 people per km2.