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Al-Zaytouna Center for Studies and Consultations has launched a new volume titled Egypt Between Two Eras: Morsi and al-Sisi: A Comparative Study, prepared byBasem Elkassem and Rabi‘ al-Dannan, edited by Prof. Dr. Mohsen Mohammad Saleh. The volume tackles the political, legal, security, economic, and media landscape in Egypt under the tenures of Morsi and al-Sisi.

Publication Information

Title: Misr bayna ‘Ahdayn: Mursi wa al-Sisi: Dirasah Muqaranah (Egypt Between Two Eras: Morsi and al-Sisi: A Comparative Study)

Prepared by:Basem Elkassem and Rabi‘ al-Dannan
Edited by: Prof. Dr. Mohsen Mohammad Saleh
Hardcover: 432 pages
Published in: 2016 (1st edition)
Price: $20
ISBN: 978-9953-572-50-5

>> Click here to download: Egypt Between Two Eras: Morsi and al-Sisi: A Comparative Study (Arabic/ Full Volume)
(434 pages, 6.3 MB)

The volume falls in seven chapters. The first addresses the developments in Egypt between 2011 and 2015; the second addresses political changes and elections; the third addresses the relationship between the authorities and political parties; the fourth focuses on economic performance; the fifth chapter discusses judicial and security performance; the sixth tackles the performance of the media; and the seventh addresses foreign policy.

The first chapter, titled “Developments in Egypt after the Revolution of 25 January 2011 Until the End of 2015,” concluded that despite gains and successes following the revolution, the course of events in Egypt following the ouster of Muhammed Morsi was marked by a real crisis in the country, which remained under the yoke of the military establishment. The study said that the coup leader, Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi, proceeded to consolidate his power by having himself elected as president, in elections reminiscent of pre-2011 elections in Egypt.

The developments also indicate that Egypt appears to have regressed back to the situation that prevailed prior to Hosni Mubarak stepping down as president, with the suppression of opinion and expression, press freedoms, and freedoms in general.

The second chapter, titled “Constitutional changes and elections,” sheds light on the evolution of the constitutional and electoral processes after the revolution of 2011: the constitution was thrice amended with subsequent referenda, and legislative elections were held twice. Two presidents were elected within two years, with an interim president appointed in between.

The study indicates that the Egyptian people, until the military coup against President Morsi in July 2013, experienced five democratic elections which have all shown, despite being held under the rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), the power of the Islamic movement and its supporters, led by the Muslim Brothers (MB) movement.

Meanwhile, the study reveals that the elections after the military coup were marred by suspicions of rigging and that the figures and outcomes were not credible. There were also accusations of bribery during elections.

In a climate where Islamists, especially members of the MB movement, were excluded and persecuted, al-Sisi dominated the elections winning with a 96.9% landslide of the vote against Hamdin Sabahi 3.1%, amid a high rate of boycott and low turnout.

The third chapter, titled “Political Parties and Forces,” argues that political and constitutional life were not primed and accessible to President Morsi when he assumed power. Instead, he faced foes and opponents who opposed him based on political or ideological motives, or motives related to interests and influence. Morsi had no democratically reasonable chance to implement his platform. While some of the forces that opposed him were visible, others were hidden or lurking such as the military establishment.

The study goes on to say that narrow interests and partisan considerations played a major role in organizing the relationship between opposition parties and Morsi, while the major differences in most programs and visions carried by parties in Egypt during that period undermined any possibility to find common ground, leading to a clash eventually.

The study states that the internal climate was not conducive for Morsi’s policies, unlike the situation under al-Sisi. The coup paved the way for the cloning of an opposition similar to the opposition against deposed President Hosni Mubarak, by passing amendments to the new parliament law issued by interim President ‘Adly Mansur before handing over power to al-Sisi, then it was passed in amended form later by al-Sisi on 29/7/2015. The legislative election law, drafted under al-Sisi, weakened political parties and political life in general, making the situation even worse than it was under Mubarak.

In chapter four, titled “Economic Performance,” argues that some of the major economic issues faced by Morsi at the start of his term were the result of economic policies from the Mubarak era, while others were caused by the political and economic circumstances emerging after the January 25 revolution, or the conduct of local, regional, and international forces and parties. Despite this, indicators suggest economic conditions under Morsi were better compared to conditions under al-Sisi.

The study shows how most crises, like fuel shortages, power cuts, and inflation were engineered and supported by internal and external entities, while most of these problems persisted under al-Sisi, undermining the justifications used for the coup against Morsi.

The study further compares between Morsi and al-Sisi’s economic plans, and analyzes the economy under the two men’s tenures and the impact of the coup on the state’s economic position. It shed light on wheat production, stating that this was a major part of Morsi’s economic project where production soared in the fiscal year 2012/2013 from 7 million tons to 9.5 tons, an increase of 30% compared to 2011/2012.

After the coup, the study concludes, the Egyptian government’s interest in wheat production declined, with areas used for wheat farming decreased from 3.5 million acres in 2012/2013 to 2.5 million acres in December 2016.

The study says that the policies of the post-coup governments, which led to an increase in local and foreign debts and very high levels of inflation, collapsed the value of the Egyptian currency dangerously. On 30/6/2013, the exchange rate against the US dollar was £7.7 in the black market and £7.05 in the official market, compared to £10.7 and £8.8 respectively on 26/4/2016.

The study highlights how the locally held and foreign debt increased dangerously after the coup, being $238.06 billion and $43.23 billion respectively under Morsi, then increasing to $301.5 billion and $47.8 billion respectively under al-Sisi by December 2015. Unemployment under Morsi stood at 12.7% compared to 13.4% under al-Sisi.

Chapter five then tackles the “Security and Judicial Performance,” stressing that both the judicial and security institutions worked to undermine the authority of President Morsi then to participate in the coup against him, before doing the opposite afterwards, backing the coup regime.

As an indication of the freedom of assembly under Morsi, the study reveals that there were 5,821 protests during his term, with an average of 485 each month, and 7,709 sit-ins or pickets, with an average of 557 per month, as well as 24 calls for a million-strong march, 2 each month on average—which often failed to attract more than a few thousands.

By contrast, the Egyptian coup authorities focused all their energies on preventing anti-coup protests. The government issued the protest law, which increased punishments for protesters who had no permission from the authorities to protest. It violently suppressed protests by the Revolution Steadfastness Front and the No Military Trials for Civilians campaign.

The military regime after the coup carried out successive massacres to stop the revolutionary movements, and detained more than 40 thousand anti-coup activists, with the security services engaging in direct physical liquidation of dissidents.

On the judicial front, the study considered al-Sisi’s rule a military one, intervening in the work of the attorney general and the courts, as well as the police and legislations targeting the opposition.

The study notes that judges affiliated to the Mubarak regime played a key role in the coup against Morsi, under whom they had freely expressed their views and political attitudes hostile to the new order.

In chapter six, titled “The Performance of the Media,” the study says that the Egyptian media became highly polarized after the January revolution. The transitional authorities, represented by SCAF, took no measures to restructure and re-regulate the media. The polarization continued under Morsi.

Media outlets linked to the remnants of the Mubarak regime or business, security, and military elites hostile to the revolution, played a key role in the coup against President Morsi, inciting Egyptians against him and the MB movement. Rumors were spread not only to topple Morsi and paving the way for al-Sisi, but also for later use when needed to consolidate al-Sisi’s regime and contain any failures of his tenure.

The study notes that the media landscape in Egypt entered an extremely crucial phase after the ouster of Morsi, becoming explicitly an instrument in the political struggle between the new transitional authorities on one hand, and the MB movement, the supporters of the revolution, and the supporters of change in Egypt, on the other.

Chapter seven, titled Foreign Policy, indicated that the Egyptian presidency commanded the country’s foreign policy to serve the regime interests, monopolizing many issues it sees as crucial.
The study adds that the Palestinian issue constituted a reason for popular support to the Egyptian regime. Egyptian-Palestinian relations underwent several changes dictated by military and political circumstances, especially after the January 25 revolution.

As for the Israeli-Egyptian relations, they also underwent historical change following the success of the revolution. First, the Israeli position continued to be vigilant and ambiguous until Mubarak stepped down. The Israeli institutions afforded major interest in the implications of the revolution on Israel, which grew increasingly wary following the rise of the Islamists, who are known for being hostile to Israel and the Camp David peace treaty. However, all this changed after the coup, when the military, political, and intellectual elites in Israel could not hide their reassurance by the events that followed in Egypt.

>> Click here to download: Egypt Between Two Eras: Morsi and al-Sisi: A Comparative Study
(Arabic/ Full Volume)
(434 pages, 6.3 MB)
Egypt Between Two Eras: Morsi and al-Sisi
A Comparative Study Title Download
Misr bayna ‘Ahdayn: Mursi wa al-Sisi: Dirasah Muqaranah
(Egypt Between Two Eras: Morsi and al-Sisi:

A Comparative Study) Complete Volume
Click Here
(434 pages, 6.3 MB)
1 Al-Taghayyurat al-Dusturiyyah wa al-Intikhabat
(Constitutional Changes and the Elections)
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(82 pages, 1 MB)
2 Al-Ahzab wa al-Qiwa al-Siyasiyyah
(Parties and Political Forces)
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(76 pages, 906 KB)
3 Al-Ada’ al-Iqtisadi
(Economic Performance)
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(47 pages, 1.4 MB)
4 Al-Ada’ al-Amni wa al-Qada‘i
(The Judicial and Security Performance)
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(76 pages, 1.6 MB)
5 Al-Ada’ al-I‘lami
(Media Performance)
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(42 pages, 681 KB)
6 Al-Siyasah al-Kharijiyyah
(The Foreign Policy)
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(92 pages, 1.1 MB)

Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, 28/3/2016