In life, we experience so much fragmentation of thought and feeling. Creating art brings things back together.
Historical background of Egyptian presidential election
1805-1952: Until the military revolution of 23 July 1952, Egypt had been under the hereditary rule of the family of Mohamed Ali who took power in 1805. King Farouk, the last of the Mohamed Ali dynasty, was ousted from power and Egypt declared a republic on 18 June 1953.
1953-1956: Army General Mohamed Naguib was selected by the military to be the first president of the republic. Naguib, however, was forced to resign in March 1954 by Gamal Abdel Nasser, the real architect of the 1952 military revolution. Nasser was appointed chairman of the Revolution’s Leadership Council in 1954 for a transitional period of two years.
In September 1956, a new constitution which allowed Egyptians via a public referendum to approve or reject a presidential candidate was promulgated. Nasser was elected president in 1956, gaining 99.9 per cent of the vote. He was the only candidate.
1970-2005: Nasser died on 28 September 1970 and was replaced by Anwar El-Sadat who introduced a new constitution in September 1971, keeping the yes/no referendum system in place but stipulating that a candidate had first to be approved by two-thirds of the parliamentary deputies. Sadat won a new term of office in the presidential referendum of September 1976.
On 6 October 1981, Sadat was assassinated during a military parade and was succeeded by his deputy Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak was elected president of Egypt in a yes/no referendum, gaining 98 per cent of the vote. Mubarak was subsequently re-elected four times by yes/no referendum in the first 24 years of his rule.
Under US pressure led by former US President George W. Bush in 2005, Mubarak was forced to amend Article 76 of the 1971 Constitution, replacing the yes/no referendum system with the first direct multi-candidate presidential election. Mubarak, supported by his authoritarian ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), swept the presidential poll, winning 88 per cent of the vote in September 2005.
2011 - On 11 February 2011, Mubarak was ousted from power after an 18-day uprising led by a new generation of pro-democracy youth. The military took over and put an interim "constitutional declaration" to a public referendum on 19 March 2011. It was approved by 77 per cent of Egyptians in a free and fair ballot.
Rules for the 2012 presidential election
The rules of Egypt’s first post-January 25 Revolution presidential election were released on 30 March 2011. They form part of the Constitutional Declaration and function alongside the 2005 Presidential Election Law (law No. 174 of 2005).
1. Candidates have to have been born in Egypt, may not hold dual nationality and may not be married to a foreigner. They must not be less than 40 years in age.
2. In order to be nominated, candidates must secure the support of 30 elected MPs or the recommendations of 30,000 voters from at least 15 Egyptian governorates (or provinces) with no less than 1000 recommendations per governorate, or nomination by a party holding at least one seat in the legislature. The 30,000 recommendations must be officially documented by special public notary offices affiliated to the Ministry of Justice.
3. Candidates must submit a detailed statement about their wealth, must have performed military service or have been exempted from it.