Egypt is moving forward with a military government after deposing longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi that followed him.
The Egyptian cabinet approved an anti-terrorism bill Nov. 26. It allows the government to ban groups for a range of accusations including threatening safety, damaging property and harming national unity. It essentially broadens the criminal code as part of a larger crackdown by the military and law enforcement.
"Preparations are underway for two presidential decrees to criminalize the defamation of the January 25 and June 30 revolutions."
Sisi's office released a statement Dec. 2 with plans for a draft law, but it was not clear what would constitute an insult. Sisi has the power to legislate in the absence of a legislative body. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for March 2015.
President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi issued a law Oct. 27 giving the military authority to join police in guarding state institutions and property, making official the military's de facto presence on the street. It also broadened the use of military trials for damaging state property, a charge often leveled at protesters.
"[The parliamentary elections law] is not at all what we expected and it will weaken political parties and allow the return of a parliament similar to what we had during Mubarak's days."
On June 5, outgoing interim president Adly Mansour reverted parliamentary election law to a previous system in which individuals take a majority of seats, or 420 out of 567. The system changed after Mubarak's ouster in 2011 to give the majority to party lists and weaken the wealthy and influential.
The 2011 election law helped sweep Muslim Brotherhood candidates to power because the group had a large organization in place. The group was banned in 2013, and cannot run in elections scheduled for early 2015. A fractured opposition remains, and the military has cracked down on vocal opponents.
Sisi was declared winner of presidential elections on June 3 with 96.1% of the vote. Officials said turnout was about 47% of 53 million eligible voters -- less than the 52% when Morsi won in June 2012 -- despite an extra day of voting. His sole challenger Hamdeen Sabahi got 735,285, well below the 1.07 million invalid votes.
Documents leaked on June 1 show that the Ministry of Interior, which runs the state security apparatus, is building a "monitoring instrument" to access data on social media sites. The tools will identify "those who pose a threat to society" as well as keywords that might indicate a violation of law and morals.
Although Egypt's constitution makes the president the commander of the military, a decree by interim President Adly Mansour on Feb. 27 removed the executive as head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The move gave further autonomy to the military, which is already shielded from civilian oversight.
Copyright 2014 Reuters
The final tally of votes on Jan. 14-15 for Egypt's constitution was 98.1% in favor. Nationwide turnout was 38.6%, which was higher than the 2012 referendum in which 30% voted. The results were largely viewed as an endorsement for military chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to run for president.
Copyright 2014 Reuters
A state of emergency was declared in Aug. 2013 after security forces violently cleared two sit-ins of supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, killing 638 and injuring nearly 4,000. It was the worst day of violence in Egypt since the 2011 uprising. The state of emergency ended in Nov. 2013.
The Muslim Brotherhood lost an appeal on Nov. 6 to the Sept. 23 ban on all its activities in Egypt. The decision included the seizure of the group's "money, assets and buildings." Several prominent members have been arrested or barred from traveling.
Copyright 2014 Reuters
On the one-year anniversary of Mohamed Morsi's election, millions of demonstrators rallied across Egypt in June 2013, calling for his resignation and for early elections. The protests were likely larger than any during the 2011 revolution. Sisi announced July 3, 2013, that Morsi was no longer president.
A court in Cairo acquitted ex-president Hosni Mubarak Nov. 29 of conspiring to kill protesters during the 2011 uprising against his rule. His former interior minister Habib El-Adly and his top aides were also found not guilty. Mubarak, 86, was also cleared of a corruption charge related to gas exports to Israel.