Egypt Current Affairs - 2020

30 Years Egypt Ruler Mohammed Hosni Mubarak passes away

On February 25, 2020, the Egypt ruler Mohammed Hosni Mubarak died at the age of 91. He was severely ill in the last months of his life.

He served as the President of Egypt between 1981 and 2011. Initially he served as an air force officer. It is to be noted that he undertook training in Soviet Union in 1961 at the Kant Air Base near Bishek.

Revolution

Mubarak was ousted from his rule in 2011. He and his sons were detained on allegations of corruption and abuse of power.

In January 2011, wide protests began in Egypt demanding Mubarak’s resignation. Following the protest, he resigned in February. The Egyptian Military took over the power after his resignation.

Gulf War

At the Gulf war in 1991, Egyptian forces were the first to enter Saudi Arabia to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Under the command of Mohammed, Egypt took active participation at Gulf War.

The Gulf war was led by United States against invasion of Iraq to annex Kuwait. The war was code named Operation Desert shield.

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Referendum on Constitutional Amendments in Egypt

The Egyptians are voting for the constitutional amendments which were overwhelmingly approved by the Egyptian Parliament.

Amendments Proposed

  • The amendments extend presidential terms from four to six years.
  • The amendments incorporate a transitional article which would give the “current president” the right to two new terms totalling 12 years.
  • The president would be allowed to pick the heads of judicial bodies and to oversee a new council charged with looking after the affairs of judges.
  • The amendments confer a political role for the army to “protect” the constitution, democracy and the “civilian” nature of the state — code for preventing rule by Islamists.
  • The amendments introduce one or more vice presidents, revive the Senate and enshrine a 25 per cent quota for women in parliament’s lower, legislative chamber.

Criticisms against the Amendments

  • The sweeping constitutional changes show that Egypt is sinking deeper into dictatorship even though the supporters insist they are crucial for cementing stability.
  • The amendments effectively serve to destroy the constitutional separation of powers, concentrating all authority into the president’s hands and solidifying his authoritarian rule.
  • The amendment would formalise the military’s already considerable influence over public life.

The referendum comes eight years after a pro-democracy uprising ended Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade autocratic rule, and nearly six years after el-Sisi led a popular military overthrow Egypt’s first freely elected but divisive Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi.

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