Egypt History and Government

Egypt History and Government

After the conclusion of the armistice with Israel (February 24, 1949), which put an end to the Palestinian war and undoubtedly marked a failure for the Arab world, Egyptian policy was aimed at achieving the revision of the Anglo-Egyptian treaties of 1936 and of 1899, the first of which provided for the allocation of British military contingents in Egypt and in the Suez Canal area, while the second established the condominium on Sudan. The government and the crown demanded the complete British evacuation and the union of Sudan with Egypt. The negotiations, interrupted in 1947 and renewed in July and November 1950, dragged on until October 1951, when the Cairo government denounced the two treaties, without thereby reaching a solution to the two problems.

The attitude of London and the lack of initiative of the Egyptian government and the Egyptian crown favored the anti-British uprisings and the guerrillas in the Canal area, which lasted for a period of several years. In this climate of heated nationalism the coup d’état of a group of young army officers, led by gen. Nagīb. King Faruk was forced to abdicate in favor of his son Fuad II, alongside whom, in consideration of his young age, a regency council was placed. The revolution came to an end on June 18, 1953, when the Revolutionary Council declared the monarchy fallen, proclaimed the Republic and entrusted its presidency to gen. Muḥammad Nagīb. However, the proclamation of the republic did not solve the two major Egyptian problems, that of the British military presence and the other of the poor social conditions of the majority of the population. The group of young officers who had supported gen. Nagīb in the transition phase from the abdication of the king to the proclamation of the republic was pressing for the “revolution” to be completed and, after obtaining the approval of a law for land reform, the expropriation of the former king’s assets, the arrest of the men most compromised with the old regime and the dissolution of the parties, tended to prevent the return to a parliamentary and multi-party democracy, as seemed to be the intention of the head of state. The spark that caused the crisis was the attitude of the “Muslim Brotherhood” organization, which, during the last months of 1952 and during 1954, he had pushed his fight against the government to the bottom, with numerous acts of terror. Having one of the exponents of the “Muslim Brotherhood” declared, at the trial brought against him (October 1954), that Nagīb had already supported this organization since April, the Revolutionary Council removed the general from the office of President of the Republic and entrusted the prerogatives of his office to the Council of Ministers, of which Colonel Giamāl ‛Abd an-Nāṣir had become president on 18 April.

With this act the “revolutionary phase” of the coup d’état could be considered concluded. The group of young officers headed by the Revolutionary Council then dedicated themselves to consolidating the new regime. Colonel an-Nāṣir imposed himself in its bosom, becoming the leader of the new Egyptian ruling class.

During 1955 the new structure of the state was elaborated, so that the government was able to promulgate, on January 26, 1956, the new constitution, approved by referendum on June 23 of the same year. On the same day Giamāl ‛Abd an-Nāṣir was elected president of the Republic.

The new constitution declared Egypt a presidential democratic republic, with a unicameral non-partisan regime, based on the political organization of the “National Union”. The head of state, elected by universal and direct suffrage, remains in office for 6 years. The National Assembly, which holds legislative power and has control over the executive, is elected every 5 years. The first election of the National Assembly (350 members) took place on July 3, 1957.

The series of changes ended on February 1, 1958 with the union of Egypt and Syria and the proclamation of the United Arab Republic (RAU). The union was sanctioned on February 21 by a referendum. From the provisional constitution of March 5 and the decrees of October 7, 1958, Egypt it was regarded as a “nation”, with an executive council, the president of which is appointed by the head of state. In recent times it has been affirming itself for Egypt the denomination of “Southern Region of the RAU”.

The period following the deposition of gen. Nagīb was characterized by arrests of right-wing extremists and communists, while the government repeatedly declared that it wanted to oppose both Western and Communist imperialism. For Egypt government and politics, please check

After the fall of the monarchy, Egypt resolved the main pending international issues. On February 12, 1953, the agreement on the autonomy and right of self-determination of Sudan was signed with Great Britain, which proclaimed itself independent on January 1, 1956. On October 19, after laborious negotiations, an Anglo treaty was concluded. -Egyptian for the evacuation of British troops from the Canal area, completed on June 14, 1956. During 1955, however, relations with Western countries deteriorated, due to the lack of supply of weapons that the Cairo government required for the own defense against the alleged threat from Israel. Western governments were inclined to believe that the policy of the new Egyptian regime was intended to undermine American and European positions in the Arab world. THE. then concluded secret agreements for the supply of heavy weapons with the USSR and Czechoslovakia.

In the same year, the question of financing the planned Aswan Dam arose. The USA, Great Britain and the International Bank for Development and Reconstruction on 20 July refused the financing of the first batch of the works, motivating the decision by the fact that Egypt it did not give sufficient financial guarantees for the repayment of the loan. The Cairo government responded immediately (July 23, 1956) with the nationalization of the Universal Suez Canal Company. The serious international crisis followed, which resulted in the Israeli and Anglo-French military action of 29 October-6 November 1956 (see suez, in this App.). After the cessation of hostilities, Egypt joined the UN proposal to host an international armed force (UNEF) along the Egyptian-Israeli armistice line of 1948. Egypt drew considerable advantages from the crisis, since the countries concerned recognized “de facto” the nationalization of the Company and the creation of the Egyptian autonomous body for the administration of traffic and facilities of the Canal, while on the other hand, on December 27, 1958, upon the signing of the Soviet-Egyptian agreement on the financing and construction of the first stage of the Aswan dam, on the basis of a loan of 100 million dollars and technical aid.

In the framework of Arab solidarity, Egypt tries to pose as the leader of Arab nationalism. Therefore on 20 and 27 October 1955 and 21 April 1956 he promoted the conclusion of military pacts with Syria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, which led to the creation of a unified command of the military forces of these states. In 1959, relations with the Irāq, which even before could be considered good because of the Baghdād pact, worsened, as the leaders of Cairo accused the new Iraqi republic of favoring the penetration of communism into the Arab world. In relations with the West there was a clearing up only in 1959, while in the period preceding the Egypt he found considerable support in the Communist world. These friendly relations with Moscow broke down in 1959 due to the Iraqi events and the accusations,

The Egyptian attitude towards Israel was always and still is marked by extreme hostility, which found and still finds its dangerous expression in the recurring incidents along the Egyptian-Israeli armistice line.

In its international links the Egypt it tried to follow a neutralist line and therefore entered into solid agreements with those countries which, such as Yugoslavia and India, have assumed the same attitude. And from this line of conduct the Egypt he did not deviate even on the occasion of the UN Plenary Assembly, held in September-October 1960 and in which Nāṣir himself participated.

Egypt government and politics