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Egypt

Yearbook 2019

Egypt. In January, Egypt and six other countries (Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Jordan and Palestine) agreed to set up the Eastern Mediterranean gas forum to facilitate cooperation in natural gas extraction. According to CountryAAH, the office is to be located in Cairo. In the same month, Egypt received praise from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for economic reforms that have led to increased growth and reduced unemployment. Shortly thereafter, a new health insurance system was promised, which will be expanded until 2033. The system will pay the country's poorest residents health care costs. In July, an Egyptian newspaper reported that the number of Egyptians living below the poverty line, defined as less than the equivalent of $ 1.4 per day to live on per day, has increased significantly in recent years.

2019 Egypt

In February, Amnesty International and other human rights organizations raised alarms that the number of executions was increasing and at the same time pointed to shortcomings in the trials that resulted in the death penalty. The authorities were also accused of forcing recognition through torture.

In April, Parliament approved amendments to the constitution, which were subsequently also supported in a referendum. Journalists reported that supporters of the president distributed food packages to people outside the polling stations. 89% of voters were positive about the constitutional changes, but voter turnout was only 44%. The term of office of the President was extended from four to six years. The rule is to be applied to the current term, which means that Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi, who has been president since 2014 and re-elected in 2018, can remain until 2024. In addition, al-Sisi is allowed to stand for another re-election, despite the fact that he at that point sat the two permitted terms of office. Parliament later approved that the president's influence over the judiciary be increased by the right to appoint, among other things, the Prosecutor General and the President of the Constitutional Court. The military also gained more power when the rules that were introduced in 2014 and which gives the defense management the right to approve who should be defense minister became permanent. The Armed Forces must now also act as guarantor for maintaining the constitution, in addition to the task of protecting the country.

In September, demonstrations demanding al-Sisi's departure took place in several of the country's cities, including Cairo. This is despite the fact that public manifestations have been banned since 2013. The regime responded by sending the police to the demonstrators and according to human rights organizations, a couple of thousand people were arrested for just over a week. In addition, meetings in support of the president have been held with participants who have been pushed there by bus.

In June, President Muhammad Mursi collapsed in connection with a trial. He was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital. Mursi had been imprisoned since being deposed by the military in 2013 after just over a year as president. In the following years he was tried several times and sentenced to life imprisonment as well as death. According to authorities, Mursi died of a heart attack.

Work on the planned new administrative capital east of Cairo continued. In connection with the Coptic Christmas in January, a new cathedral with a seat for 8,000 people was inaugurated. On the same day, President al-Sisi also inaugurated a new mosque called al-Fattah al-Alim, which is Egypt's largest. al-Sisi presented himself as the head defender of Muslim extremists, saying that the inauguration of two shrines on the same day would be seen as a message of unity. In January, the work was also completed to preserve Pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

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