Egypt: How did the military affect the democratization process?
Abstract: In the spring of 2011, massive protests shook the streets of Egypt, as hundreds of thousands of people protested against the sitting regime run by president Mubarak. Eventually the military ousted Mubarak and took power in his place. The military then kept power for more than a year until a new president, Morsi, could be elected in the summer of 2012. Morsi, in turn, was ousted by the military after only a year in power. During the period that followed after the revolution, according to several researchers, Egypt saw signs of democratization, a process that the military affected in several ways. The research question of this paper is thus how the military affected the democratization process in Egypt. By looking at Schmitter and Lynn’s (1991) democracy criteria, the actions of the military will be evaluated and labeled negative or positive in terms of democracy. The positive effects on the democratization process were that it did allow for multiparty elections, it instituted presidential term limits and strengthened judicial oversight. It also removed parts of the emergency law that had been in place since Mubarak came to power. Its negative influence consisted of several constitutional decrees which intended to take away several powers from the upcoming president (Morsi). It also abolished the democratically elected parliament and took over its powers to make laws and to decide on the country’s budget. A semi-democratic move was to force the sitting president Morsi from power in 2013.
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