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Egypt Elects New Leader
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Last night the Egyptian army ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected leader. Former president Mohamed Morsi was thrown out by the Egyptian army. He attempted to assume more executive power by overriding democratic checks and balances. Today Adli Mansour, the Chief Justice of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court was sworn in by the army. He will be Egypt’s interim leader.

Egypt has had its share of uprisings. Recent Egypt has overthrown its president, former leader Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison. He ordered the killing of citizens who were protesting the imposition of Islamic law by the Muslim Brotherhood. As with many rallies, many groups had different points that they wanted addressed. Egyptian citizens were not fully satisfied with the way things were going and Egypt’s government was largely replaced. Prime Ministers Nazid and Shafik resigned, the army assumed power, the Parliament was dissolved and the Constitution was suspended. A Democratic election was held and Mohamed Morsi was elected. President Morsi imposed Islamic law with the support of his party, the Muslim Brotherhood. But now he too was overthrown.

  
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Egyptians have protested against problems in their society like 8 percent inflation, corruption, and lack of job growth. The Egyptian economy is one of the most diversified in its region. 1996 saw the peak of Egyptian oil production and since then it has declined by almost 30 percent. The shrinking oil revenues have impacted food and fuel subsidies. The problems Egyptians have on their plate are integrated with their economy’s problems.

Egypt was self-sufficient in food production several decades ago, but now it relies heavily on food imports that are subsidized by oil revenues. Today Egypt imports 75% of its wheat. While this seems trivial, subsidies are kept afloat by oil revenue which is has somewhat diminished alongside oil production. Climate changes also have altered the weather patterns of food growing areas in Egypt. Draughts have raised the cost of food while almost half of Egyptians spend 40 percent of their income on food. The UK Guardian reports that not only does Egypt suffer from high debt levels but also from a contraction of social welfare, reduction of wages, and lack of infrastructure investment. 40% of Egyptians live on approximately 2 pounds a day, which is at international poverty levels.

To be clear, the turmoil that Egypt faces isn’t one of religion or politics, but rather of resource management, policy and administration. With food water and energy problems to solve, the Egyptian government has work to do.

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Image Credit: UK Guardian





 

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