System of government

Changing the system of government and not just its topmost leaders has been one of the most important aims and outcomes of the Egypt’s January 25 Revolution. Everyone agrees that the authoritarian presidential system created by the 1971 Constitution must be changed. This system concentrated power in the hands of the president allowing the executive authority to dominate, marginalising the parliament and effectively damaging the independence of the judiciary.

There are many different ideas about how power should be redistributed and what system of government the new Constitution should create. Two main visions exist. One calls for a parliamentary system where the parliament has supreme authority, including the right to form and dissolve the cabinet. The other calls for a semi-parliamentary system where the directly-elected president has greater powers but also shares some powers with the government head that represents the parliament.

Proponents of a completely parliamentary system argue that it is the best democratic system, which guarantees that a new president/dictator, who enjoys all powers without real participation from the people, will not be created.

Others argue that an amended or semi-presidential system is most suited to Egypt because it leads to stability, and avoids a scenario where weak and unstable parliaments are formed, and may quickly be dissolved.