A timeline of Egypt’s major political events in the three years since the 19 March 2011 referendum, a political milestone
by Ahram Online
Three years have passed since the 19 March 2011 constitutional referendum which saw millions of Egyptian voting for the first time since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. At the time, the last public vote had been the notorious 2010 parliamentary elections which were fixed in favour of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP).
The relatively high turnout at referendums and elections post Mubarak has been hailed by many as one of the 2011 uprising’s major achievements and a step towards democracy after decades of vote rigging by the ruling regime. Since then, several constitutional decrees have been put forward and then annulled, parliaments have been voted in and then dissolved, as Egyptians have gone to the ballot box seven times in different elections and referendums.
The following is a timeline of the major political procedures that have taken place in these three years.
19 March – The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took over after Mubarak’s ouster, puts an interim constitutional declaration to a public referendum. It is approved by 77 percent.
30 March – SCAF reveals an interim constitution consisting of 62 articles, only nine of which are endorsed in the 19 March referendum. The constitution gives the military full presidential authorities until a president is elected.
28 November, 14 December, 3 January – Post-revolutionary elections for the People’s Assembly, Egypt’s lower house of parliament, take place in three stages, with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Nour Party winning the majority of seats.
29, 30 January & 14, 15 February – Elections for the Shura Council, parliament’s upper house, take place in two rounds, with Islamists gaining the majority of seats.
25 March – The 100-member committee tasked with drafting Egypt’s constitution is formed. The panel is criticised for being unrepresentative and dominated by Islamists.
10 April – A court order suspends the 100-member committee.
23, 24 May – Egypt witnesses its first post-revolution presidential elections, with millions of voters lining up over two days to cast their ballots.
13 June – The second constituent assembly is formed by parliament and continues to face criticism for being dominated by Islamists until the assembly is hit with mass resignations at the end of the year.
14 June – SCAF dissolves parliament’s Islamist-led lower house based on a Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) ruling that finds Egypt’s parliamentary elections law – which regulated last year’s legislative polls – to be unconstitutional, and declares the current parliament null and void.
16, 17 June – The second round of Egypt’s presidential elections takes place, with the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohamed Morsi and ex-Mubarak prime minister Ahmed Shafiq facing off.
17 June – SCAF announces a constitutional addendum granting more authority to the then-ruling junta, including a stipulation that the army must approve the president’s declaration of war.
24 June – Egypt’s Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) announces Mohamed Morsi as the country’s first civilian president.
8 July – Morsi issues his first presidential decree, demanding the reinstatement of the dissolved People’s Assembly, parliament’s lower house. The move provokes mass protests by revolutionary forces who denounce the decree. Brotherhood members and supporters rally to support Morsi’s decision.
11 July – The Egyptian presidency accepts a SCC ruling issued on 10 July suspending Morsi’s decision to reinstate parliament’s lower house, citing its respect for judicial rulings.
12 August – Morsi issues a new constitutional decree canceling the 17 June constitutional addendum, thereby granting the president full executive and legislative powers and placing the constitution-drafting process under the president’s control. On the same day, Morsi orders the retirement of SCAF leaders Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and chief-of-staff Sami Anan, appointing Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as the new defence minister.
22 November – Morsi issues a controversial decree making his decisions immune to judicial challenge. The decree is slammed for being undemocratic and an attack on judicial independence and is later viewed as the first step towards the Islamist president’s downfall.
8 December – President Morsi revokes his controversial declaration but states that the constitutional referendum will still take place on 15 December. His decision comes after several Brotherhood headquarters are torched and at least 10 persons are killed in clashes between Morsi’s opponents and supporters.
15 December – A referendum on the 2012 constitution is approved by 63.8 percent.
February 21– Morsi issued a presidential decree announcing that the first post-constitution elections for the lower chamber of parliament House of Representatives will be held in April as the upper house Shura Council prepares a new elections law. In March, a court order overturned Morsi’s decree after referring the elections law to the High Constitutional Court,questioning its constitutionality.
3 July – Following days of mass protests against Morsi’s one-year rule, defence minister El-Sisi addresses the nation on live television and unveils a road map for Egypt’s political future, as proposed by the opposition, that includes Morsi’s ouster and snap presidential elections.
4 July – Adly Mansour, the newly appointed head of the SCC, is sworn in as Egypt’s interim leader
5 July – Mansour issues a presidential decree dissolving the Islamist-dominated Shura Council.
8 July – The interim president issues an anticipated constitutional declaration to remain in effect until the end of the transitional phase. The decree outlines a transitional roadmap for the period after Morsi’s ouster, including the suspension of the 2012 Islamist drafted constitution.
1 September – Egypt’s presidency announces the 50-member committee tasked with amending the suspended 2012 constitution.
14 December – Interim President Adly Mansour announces a national referendum on the new draft of the constitution will take place on 14-15 January.
14, 15 January – The national charter is put to a public referendum that garners an overwhelming approval of 98.1 percent.
8 March – Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour issues a presidential elections law, paving the road for the country’s upcoming presidential polls.