Inside the Middle East
November 6, 2009
Posted: 1022 GMT

Ben Wedeman discusses politics and lineage in Egypt.

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Filed under: Egypt •Video

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A. Smith   November 6th, 2009 4:59 pm ET

Is Egypt a Democracy or Dynasty?

It is not a democracy in Western Terms, nor is Saudi Arabia and many other Arab nations. They appear to have elected officials running their country's, however all to often those with the most are those that are the real rulers of those nations including Egypt.

In Egypt's case, a compounded or semi-democratic system is in place. To help briefly outline that, a quick quote from Wikipedia:

'The government of Egypt consists of a semi-presidential republic whereby the president is both head of state and head of government, and of a system dominated by the National Democratic Party. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the People's Assembly.'

Outer Perceived Order of Importance:

* Constitution
* President (list)
o Hosni Mubarak
* Prime Minister (list)
o Ahmed Nazif
o Cabinet
* Parliament of Egypt
o Shura Council
o People's Assembly
* Judicial system
o Supreme Constitutional Court
* Elections
o President 2005
o People's Assembly 2005
o Shura Council 2007
o Municipal 2008
* Political parties
o Former political parties
* Governorates
* Regions
* Foreign relations
o Ministry of Foreign Affairs

This outer perceived order of power or structured influence does not include the Koran, nor the great influence of the Islamic Ayatollahs, Clerics and their Mullahs on Egyptian Governmental issues.

Various Islamic Ayatollahs, Clerics and their Mullahs have a great deal of influence on Egyptian Governmental issues and it is evident that they are actively striving for more influence on any and all Egyptian Governmental decisions and policy's.

A. Smith

earle,florida   November 7th, 2009 1:59 am ET

Unfortunately most countries in the middle-east during the past century have had their leaders (those that show servitude to their various masters) hand-picked,pre-certified for temporal existense. This could be hard to swollow for some,...but the middle-east history (Egypt,Jordan,Libya,Syria,Iraq,etc,etc.) is written like a structured military school manual,... strictly implementing most-favored government leaders as their surrogates. England (the Beast of Great Britain/the Great Satan) the most deceptive,France,Germany,South Africa (the Apartheid),United States,Israel (the Great Satan's enabler),Saudi Arabia ,and the unscrupulous diabolical Russian's. All the "Great World Power's" have had their slimy hands in the mix,...but the most cynical, and corruptive entity of all are the "Central Banks" running the world's entire affairs with just a handful of match-maker's! Nepotism is a lame excuse for not wanting to commit political (sustaining the status-quo),or something even more sinister,... that being aptly spoken in this famous passage "Be careful what you Wish for"! PS. Now that were in the present,... where will China fit in the upcoming morass,...or better said ,enigma?

Jasmine From Iran   November 12th, 2009 12:47 pm ET

There can never be democracy in any nation that is governed by Religion and dictatorship.

Egypt, Syria , Iran and many countries in the region are as such.

J. Mack   November 23rd, 2009 9:27 pm ET

I agree with the previous writer's comment. Unfortunately, recent history has demonstrated that the momentum for political change in those areas has only spawned from the Islamic religious leadership; whose political agenda is not to promote freedom, openness and democracy, but for increased dictatorial control through Islam.

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