Demands of the Egyptian Revolution and the Newly-Emerging Actors
During the 25th January Revolution the masses raised their voices to articulate a number of demands, all of which expressed their hope for a better future for themselves, their families and future generations. These demands can be summarized under the four main principles of bread, freedom, social justice, and human dignity.
In fact, none of these demands were achieved, and there are no indicators showing that those who ascended to power are working towards their fulfillment. Those in authority focus instead on concretizing their rule by imposing security and stability policies, directly reflecting the policies of the previous regime and not the revolution’s demands. Building on this foundation, this paper is divided into three parts: the first discusses the most important demands of the Egyptian revolution; the second addresses the most important newlyemerging actors in Egypt, as well as those currently heading the post-30th June political scene; and the third addresses the interaction between these parties and the varying levels of the revolution’s demands. In the conclusion, this paper poses a vision of the impact of this interaction on future developments in Egypt.
Despite the fact that electronic social methods and techniques played a vital role in facilitating the path of the 25th January Revolution and notwithstanding the role they played in revealing the miserable reality in which Egyptians live, social networks such as Facebook were not constructed for the reasons which mobilized people at that time. This might constitute a sufficient response to exaggerated claims about their role in forming revolutionary waves in January 2011. On the one hand, despite the popularity of Facebook, because of its userfriendliness, the availability of various tools (images, videos, and so on) and the possibility of immediate and direct interaction with its subscribers, previously there were blogs which were used as the main channel through which many activists criticized public conditions and the political system . On the other hand, there were already reasons for the eruption of the revolution at the social, economic and political levels. Hence, young people, who considered social websites such as Facebook as a channel opposed to the restricted public sphere and freedoms, the prevalence of political corruption and other tyrannical aspects, were able to utilize this space to address political conditions and criticize the violations of the previous regime and its crimes, exemplified in the famous torture case of Khaled Said. This continued until the calls to organize the protests of 25th January, the annual celebration of Police Day, condemning police violations and security policies. This had already convinced the public and touched on its sufferings, reflected in the revolution slogans over the following days and in the high public participation from all social sectors. In addition, following the revolution, Facebook’s popularity increased as a result of the surprise caused by the events to older generations and segments not in touch with this virtual world, which led to greater willingness to use it as a means of communication between people at the time.
January Revolution Demands
Bread and Social Justice
A large part of addressing the issue of social justice in Egypt lies in understanding the system adopted by the Egyptian state, particularly during the last ten years of Mubarak’s reign, which depended upon realizing that the achievement of sufficient economic growth will lead to development and the eradication of poverty. The priority has been the growth of government policies promulgated by the legislature, dominated by the executive, which has allowed for the accumulation of capital. This approach resulted in a 7% increase in economic growth, as well as increased profit for regional and global companies working in Egypt, but the problem lies in the fact that these economic successes are consolidated in the hands of a minority of the population .
This was clearly seen in several aspects, including the unemployment rate reaching about 9%, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in 2010 . If we look at the higher education certificate holder’s category, the unemployment rate for males is 59% and about 85% for females, according to the Human Development Report 2010 . In addition, Egypt was classified as country no. 101 in the Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) classification in 2010, which is a medium human development classification . This was accompanied by the wage distribution crisis, not only between the different sectors (the so-called absence of horizontal justice), but also in the same sector, with one person receiving very little in return for work as opposed to another in the same position who receives more. This could also be found in the same organization or sector where there is a big gap between the minimum and maximum wage (lack of vertical justice) . This was aggravated by the tax structure, which was characterized by unfair distribution of burdens between the rich, the poor (the so-called flat taxes) and the middle class. This is added to increased levels of tax evasion applied in different ways, especially by freelancers. Basic services underwent continuous deterioration during Mubarak’s time until reaching a very poor state, both in terms of access and quality. For example, the number of people deprived of education in Egypt reached 26.1% according to CAPMAS in 2011, with 18% for males and 33.6% for females, while those deprived of the right to health reached 16.9%. Moreover, apart from the discrimination between students enrolled on the same degrees based on their economic abilities, which adds to discrepancies and discrimination in society, the total expenditure on education from GDP is only 3.8%. In terms of the right to healthcare or insurance, coverage only includes 50% of Egyptians, while the most needy, impoverished and marginalized are left with no health protection or insurance. Moreover, over 70% of total spending on health is taken directly from citizens, which means that in fact the burden of medical treatment falls on the shoulders of citizens while public health insurance is inadequate. It is also well-known that the health index in Egypt shows significant bias against the poorest, as the rich benefit most from public services .
Thus, many of the pre-25th January efforts were focused on solving issues related to social justice. These efforts were reactivated following the revolution as they strove for political openness that would allow for the redrafting of policies in support of social justice, related to all the previously mentioned rights .
– Specifically, they strove to implement a minimum wage system, both in the public and private sectors, in a way that is commensurate with the actual cost of goods and essential services, ensuring a decent life for workers and adapting according to changes in the price of goods. This should be in conjunction with control over the price of goods by responsible policies that deal appropriately with monopolies and support competitiveness. It should guarantee comprehensive insurance for all citizens in cases of sickness, disability or old age and a pension in keeping with the minimum and maximum wage for all pensioners and all families with no breadwinner. This is in addition to unemployment benefit at least equal to the minimum wage.
– The Egyptian economy has a chronic disease: the imbalance between expenditure and revenue, in favor of the former. The regime responded to this in a manner that served capitalism and the wealthy elite while burdening the poor with the fiscal deficit. So there was a lobby to implement a progressive tax system which appropriately reflects the huge income gap in Egypt, imposing taxes on capital profit and stock transactions, abolishing all forms of subsidy for those who do not deserve it, whether in the form of tax relief or energy subsidies for high energy-consuming industries. Moreover, all adhesion contracts for exporting gas and petrol have been amended according to international prices, while legalizing the work of all government consultants and abolishing their high wages.
– In terms of services, ordinary citizens have to endure an infrastructure that has been collapsing over decades alongside reduced social spending by the state. Hence, demands focus on the importance of increasing public investment in health, education, infrastructure and development projects in marginalized governorates, such as Upper Egypt and Sinai. This is in addition to the enhancement of education, ensuring free provision at all stages, increasing the periods of basic education and providing comprehensive health insurance for all citizens. There are also calls for free state-provided basic and urgent health services, decent housing for all citizens and direct investment in public and intermediary housing, provided with long-term cooperation loans.
Freedom and Human Dignity
It is clear that basic rights and liberties stipulated in international charters, specifically the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Egypt signed in 1982, have been either absent or falsely protected. Included in this set of rights are political liberties related to participation in public affairs (directly or through political representatives), freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and freedom of opinion, concerning restrictions imposed on the media and press, the prosecution of those with differing or independent opinions, and restrictions on freedom of association and freedom to found parties and unions. These restrictions were imposed both institutionally and legally, such as by the Political Parties Affairs Committee. Besides the detention of protesters demanding their socioeconomic rights, such as the Mahala sit-in in 2008, the Committee, which was dominated by the NDP, hindered the establishment of parties with its incapacitating conditions, and interfered in the management of some parties and the formation of their higher bodies, similar to what took place with the Al Ghad Party. Added to this list are the numerous human rights violations committed by the security apparatus, especially in the last ten years of Mubarak’s rule, which have been condemned by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in their many reports. These reports confirm that police stations, detention centers, prisons and of course state security are locations where all forms of maltreatment  were practiced on a daily, continuous and methodological basis by police, ranging from torture, random detention and forced disappearance. These were policies that have increased the anger of citizens over the last few years. Cases such as those of Khaled Said, Sayed Belal and Emad Al Kabir are clear examples of these violations and led to mobilizations and rights actions on the ground and in the electronic sphere demanding investigations until January 2011, when the Egyptian Revolution began with protests on National Police Day on 25th January, condemning their violations against Egyptian citizens.
Accordingly, the Egyptian Revolution made demands related directly to civil and political rights, as well as security restrictions and prosecution. These demands simultaneously reflect the public desire to found a democratic and institutional political system. Subsequently, based on the Egyptian context at the eruption of the revolution, the demands could be summarized as follows:
– Egypt has a long legacy of authoritarianism, except for a very short democratic phase from 1923 to 1952, which excluded all groups and citizens from the public sphere, eliminated all the principle political and civic freedoms and rights, and gave the state the right to represent and decide for the whole of society. As the revolution seeks democracy, one of its main demands and requirements for overcoming this legacy is to establish a civil democratic republic that is neither military nor sectarian and founded on principles of free political competition between all forces and of direct election of the representatives of the people in all positions. It should be based on the principles of political, union, civil, personal, press and media freedoms. This republic should protect the right to establish parties, unions, associations, federations and solidarity groups, as well as the right to protests, strikes, sit-ins and all other forms of peaceful dissent. It should also condemn polarization on a religious or sectarian basis and confront all practices seeking to allow one faction’s domination of society, rejecting others and eliminating social, political and cultural diversity.
– One of the principle dilemmas for citizens over the last 30 years has been the lack of efficiency and accomplishment of the state institutions, which was obvious in all social and economic aspects, and even in terms of infrastructure demands, due to concerns about patronage within these institutions, overstretched bureaucracy, and prioritizing of security and civic policies. Furthermore, state institutions such as the police should be reformed, all political security apparatuses should be restructured and abolished, independence of the judiciary and separation between the investigating and prosecuting authorities should be guaranteed, and the state media must be released from government control and strengthened to ensure political impartiality.
– Over the preceding 40 years, and especially the last 30, there has been an emerging phenomenon known as the mating of capital and power, in reference to the corruption and overlapping networks between the political elite and economic figures and business. These designed the main economic policies and made decisions in Egypt in favor of these networks, neglecting the emerging sectors and demands, leading to the 25th January. So another challenge to be considered is how these networks can be identified, and neutralize the new political and economic system based on separating authority from capital through the application of the rule of law and following governance, transparency and accountability practices, while regulating access to and disclosure of information in all state, public and private sectors.
With the progression of the 25th January Revolution, security forces depended on the use of excessive violence against protesters, which led to the killing of around 1,000 martyrs, a few thousand injured people and hundreds still missing. This resulted in the demand for transitional justice, which has become of the utmost urgency and is based on the following:
– The documentation of the fatal violations of human rights committed against citizens, as well as other forms of misuse of power and authority and, accordingly, informing citizens about them to inform general public opinion.
– Bringing those involved in the killing and injuring of revolutionaries to trial, as well as those involved in torture, murder and forced disappearance. This is added to the enforcement of respect for the law and citizens’ rights without discrimination.
– Emphasizing reform of state, security, judicial and media institutions in a way that ensures that they are cleansed of corruption and developed professionally and administratively.
– Compensating the injured and martyrs’ families both financially and emotionally through a number of procedures: treatment of the injured inside and outside the country by the state, finding appropriate professions for them, establishing a memorial statue for the martyrs of the revolution and naming streets after them in their governorates.
One of the main features of the revolution was the high fragmentation of political influence and interests among different actors, bearing in mind the differing levels of power, who is in power and who in opposition, including traditional actors represented in the state institutions (for instance, the military establishment, judiciary, interior ministry, etc), the opposition under the Mubarak regime (Muslim Brotherhood, secular political parties such as the Al Wafd Party, etc), and the newly-emerging actors following the revolution from different political trends (Salafist parties, secular parties, youth unions, initiatives and so on). This led to many changes in political direction after Mubarak stepped down. Despite the fact that SCAF pledged to limit the transitional period to six months, it continued in power for the entire period extending from January 2011 until June 2012. This was a direct result of pressure from the revolutionary movements after the incidents in Mohamed Mahmoud Street and the cabinet (mainly ordinary youths, the Coalition of Revolutionary Youth, and youths from different political wings, who went to the streets to demonstrate against SCAF’s intentions to continue ruling based on claims of instability, lack of security following the revolution and the absence of a trusted alternative political actor to hold power). The Muslim Brotherhood candidate, President Mohamed Morsi, then proceeded to start his term as the President of Egypt in June 2012 until June 2013 after winning the runoff election with 51%. His slight victory over Senior Commander Ahmed Shafik, who served as the last Prime Minister in Mubarak’s regime, came as a result of the failure of the revolutionary candidates Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, Hamden Sabahi and Khaled Ali to band together. Despite the fact that the revolutionary candidates collectively won 41%  of the total votes in the first round, Hamdeen Sabahi, the nationalist stream nominee, obtained only 21% of the total votes, not enough to enter the runoff.
Morsi succeeded in increasing his support in the runoff with numerous promises to the revolutionary currents. He promised the adoption of radical reforms, the achievement of the revolution’s demands, and a commitment to the rights of those injured and martyred in the revolution; of these promises, the most famous are referred to as the “Fairmont commitments”.
Yet, since the beginning of Morsi’s presidency, even after his ousting and return to power, Egyptians have yet to witness any positive changes, and there are some common threads running through both the Mubarak and SCAF regimes, which are:
– The same economic policies, which are neglectful of social justice and aim to achieve economic growth first and prioritize the private sector. All these economic considerations were parallel to the suppression of many labor protests and strikes, which demanded equality in rights and wages, and carried out administrative procedures against them, such as dismissal from work or referral to investigation by the administrative or public prosecution.
– The same repressive apparatus and restriction on political freedoms, which was monitored by international reports such as Human Rights Watch regarding the continuation of the police security approach, which resulted in deaths due to police torture. This is exemplified clearly in the Port Said 2012 incident in which 32 people were killed and was followed by the application of the State of Emergency in Canal Governorates, which broadened the authority of the security forces in prosecuting ordinary citizens. Many leaked documents even showed that in some demonstrations, like the one outside the presidential palace on 6th December 2012, the police ignored information about intended attacks against the protesters by Muslim Brotherhood members 
– The non-consensual constitution, prepared through the promulgation of a Constitutional Declaration in November 2012 in order to immunize the Shura Council and the Constituent Assembly, which was in the final stages of its work. This reflected the monopoly and dominance practiced by political Islamic forces, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, to issue such a declaration without taking into account the opinions of the remaining political forces and with indifference to both the scope of protests rejecting it and to the Draft Constitution.
Alliance with the religious right, overlooking its violations of personal freedoms. This was clear in the alliance between the Al Nour Party and the Freedom and Justice Party, which pushed for many concessions for the religious right, especially regarding Shari’a, identity articles and other articles related to personal and public freedoms. It seemed that the Al Nour party was a pragmatic one, as it was more likely to reach agreements with the authorities under Morsi and even after 30th June (as part of the post-30th June coalition). This contrasts with other wings of the Salafist movement, which we can regard as more hard line, including some parties such as the Al Watan Party, which split from the Al Nour Party, and other Salafists that have concentrated on managing religious and charity affairs and issues relating to their religious values and concerns.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s exclusivity in terms of authority, their abandonment of campaign promises, and the adoption of the same policies and institutional approach as Mubarak’s regime have all worked to serve their personal interests. However, these failures, in addition to their inefficiency in management, all led to the creation of immense tension, and the emergence of a group of actors who played a role in the latest transitional process of 30th June. All of these factors have brought Egypt to its current state in which Morsi is out of power and the Muslim Brotherhood have been forced out of the circle of power. Thus, the current actors can be divided into two major groups:
There have been clear attempts to establish opposition parties to Mohamed Morsi’s regime, some of which emerged from a different background to that of the ruling party – a liberal one. The prime example of such a party is the Al Dostour Party (The Constitution Party). Other parties emerged with Islamist backgrounds, such as the Masr al-Qaweya Party (The Strong Egypt Party), yet they adopted a different vision from that of the Muslim Brotherhood. However, newly-founded political formations did not appear solely as political parties, they also emerged in other forms of political coalitions, such as the National Salvation Front and political movements such as the Egyptian Popular Current or youth movements such as Tamarod (Rebels).
The Al Dostour Party was formed in 2012 among other parties emerging around the same period. It depended mainly upon the numerous youths who supported Dr. Mohamed Al Bradei before the revolution. It is a liberal party that adopts revolutionary slogans (Bread, Freedom and Social Justice), which are not very different from the slogans of other parties. Dr. Mohamed Al Bradei himself said that the idea of the party is not new but it is a political structure required by the “current moment.” The Masr al-Qaweya Party was founded by Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh in 2012 following the end of the presidential elections (similar to the Popular Current and the Al Dostour Party), based on the youth bloc, which formed the main pillar of his electoral campaign. Even though some classify this party as medium left or progressive Islamic, it includes a variety of dissenting youths from the Muslim Brotherhood group, others having a general Islamic position or left-wing approaches. This variety might be a reflection of the electoral campaign of the party candidate (Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh), which included many intellectuals or advisors from different political streams. The most important challenge facing this party, in comparison with other parties emerging with a view to presidential electoral campaigns, is the stigmatization with a high degree of volatility in political decisions and the decisions and declarations of its cadres.
The National Salvation Front represents a political bloc that emerged following the promulgation of Morsi’s Constitutional Declaration in November 2012. This declaration was aimed at the immunization of the Shura Council and the Constitutional Assembly from the expected dissolution due to the unconstitutionality of their formation. It is formed by 35 civil political parties and movements (liberal and left). However, this Front represented an attempt to bring together the forces of this limited number of civil parties to confront the arrogance and apparent authoritativeness of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was reflected following the November 2012 Constitutional Declaration. This is added to the completion of the Constituent Assembly and hence the passing of the 2012 Constitution, a source of disagreement for all due to its controversial articles and the questioning of the Assembly and its members. The Front sought the development of alternative strategies to confront the Muslim Brotherhood’s authority after issuing the Constitutional Declaration and was about to issue the 2012 Draft Constitution to annul them.
In light of this, the National Salvation Front was formed to defend the civil democratic state in Egypt. This was in order to take a united position on the rejection of the Constitutional Declaration in which the President gave himself exceptional powers, including the right to issue whatever laws he pleases and immunized his decisions and the decisions of the Constituent Assembly and the Shura Council. Its leaders began to mobilize in the Egyptian streets to reject the constitution, which was prepared rapidly by the Constituent Assembly dominated by the political Islam parties, following the withdrawal of the representatives of civil parties, the Church, women and civil society organizations. Dr. Mohamed El Baradei was selected to be the Front General Coordinator provided that decisions were taken unanimously in its higher body, which includes the leaders of the different parties after the presentation of all opinions.
Moreover, the Egyptian Popular Current also emerged, whose founders refuse to call it a party and insist that it is an ideological movement. It is a left-wing political group led by Hamdin Sabahy. It was founded in September 2012 and was mainly formed from the latter’s electoral campaign supporters in the 2012 presidential elections, similar to another group of parties or political figures. The Popular Current adopts the revolutionary demands: bread, freedom, social justice. Meanwhile, Tamarod (Rebels) could theoretically be referred to as a campaign in which its launchers called for the collection of signatures in order to withdraw confidence from President Morsi and hold early presidential elections. They also called for 30th June to be a day for rebellion. The movement began by printing forms for citizens to sign in May. As mentioned in its founding statement, it was formed due to the political and economic deterioration after President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood group came to power. It started its activities by collecting signatures in Port Said, northeast of Cairo, where there was security tension in January 2012, added to the severe discontent regarding Morsi’s policies on civil disobedience. The movement then started its activities in Cairo and received positive interaction and broad support among citizens, enabling them to collect 200,000 signatures in their first week, gaining it the support of many of the traditional opposition political movements, such as the Al Dostour Party, The Popular Current, the Free Egyptians Party, the Kefaya Movement (Enough), and the April 6th Movement. Their support was effective and real as they opened their premises and recruited their cadres to work in this campaign. The campaign defined their objectives in a number of press conferences as follows:
– Remove Mohamed Morsi from presidential office and hand his functions over to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court as the only foreign representation of the state.
– Select an efficient political figure to be Prime Minister to manage state affairs during the transitional period.
– Form a government of competencies (technocrats) to reform the deteriorated conditions of the state.
This bloc includes actors that emerged only to oust Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood from power, and therefore worked with other political actors. It is now important to mention the attempts during Morsi’s presidency to either exclude or co-opt certain actors that emerged after the 25th January Revolution and had a prominent role before Morsi’s presidency. Using the mobilization of the Tamarod youth movement, these actors succeeded in mobilizing against Morsi and decided to overthrow the Muslim Brotherhood regime. They were either political parties or Egyptian state institutions.
The two most prominent political parties are the religious Salafi Al Nour party, and the civilian Egyptian Social Democratic Party. The former, which represents the political arm of the Salafi call in Alexandria, is one of the strongest Salafi streams. It explicitly declares that it emerged to defend Islamic identity and is the main motive for the party’s political work. The Al Nour Party, which defends the application of Islamic Shari’a (jurisprudence), could win 22% of the Peoples’ Assembly seats in the Islamic bloc alliance led by the Authenticity Party and the Building and Development Party, from which the Al Nour Party alone won 108 seats. This is added to 46 seats in the Al Shura Council elections.
The relation between the Al Nour Party and the Freedom and Justice Party is overlapping and complicated. It was sometimes characterized by competitiveness, similar to the parliamentary elections in 2011/2012, and at other times by mutual understandings in parliament, especially in issues related to Shari’a and identity. This understanding was quite clear during the battle of the constitution in which there was mutual agreement between the two parties to pass articles that are either compatible with the Al Nour Party’s vision of Shari’a or on which the Freedom and Justice Party agrees, even though there were suspicions regarding the authoritative approaches of the latter aimed at its empowerment. However, as reflected in many of their statements, this does not mean that they are not competitive or suspicious of each other, even though signs of severe discord between them began as a result of the Al Nour Party publishing the document of the Brotherhoodization of the state, which provided a map of the spread of MB cadres who were mainstreamed in state institutions for the purpose of empowerment. This was also followed by many statements issued by the party and its leaders, such as Yasser El Borhamy, clearly criticizing the Muslim Brotherhood and their political management of the state, as well as those justifying the position of the party in supporting army intervention and public movements on 30th June. The latter was very clear in the appearance of Galal Morra, the Party Secretary, in the 3rd July army statement, which announced the removal of Morsi from office. However, its role was extended to participation in arrangements for the 3rd July roadmap, as the only Islamic party on the Constitutional Amendments Committee. It is notable that this party objects to many of the drafts of the suggested provisions, especially with reference to articles related to identity and shari’a, such as articles 2, 3, 4 and 129, even though the members of this party taking part in the committee try to reject the accusation of confinement to shari’a articles. In addition, it was also among the parties which objected most to the names suggested for cabinet during the current phase, through which they seem to be making it difficult for political streams while at the same time supporting any of the decisions taken by state apparatuses.
The Egyptian Social Democratic Party is a political party formed in 2011, following the 25th January Revolution, with a social democratic ideology. It ran in the Peoples’ Assembly elections for 2011-2012 in alliance with the National Progressive Unionist Party and the Free Egyptians Party in the Egyptian Bloc (Al Kotla A Masriya), winning around 16 seats. It won 8 seats in the Shura Council elections. This party was among the founders of the Salvation Front and is expected to play a prominent role as the Prime Minister and his Deputy, Prof. Hazem Al Beblawy and Prof. Ziad Bahaa El Din, were among its founders.
State Institutions and Media
In terms of state institutions, the political arena is dominated by the armed forces and the media. The role of the army as a political actor is complicated, particularly because of its significant place within the political process. Moreover, it is important to distinguish between it and the initial SCAF that appeared after the January 2011 Revolution. SCAF is responsible for both the post-revolutionary roadmap and its implementation following the departure of Mubarak from power, after which SCAF announced their commitment to govern state affairs, and to oversee the arrangements of the first transitional period, beginning with the constitutional referendum in March 2011. At that time, they enacted a number of laws and established procedures related to economic policy. Nevertheless, the relationship between SCAF and various political figures intensified, and led to violent clashes that resulted in many deaths and arrests. However, clashes with Mohamed Mahmoud and the cabinet were significant milestones in relations between SCAF and the public, as was the political path through rapid transfer of power to civilians and going forward with the promulgation of parliamentary and presidential elections. After winning the presidential election, Mohamed Morsi was sworn in as President of Egypt. Directly following this, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and Lieutenant General Sami Hafez Anan announced their retirement, and were awarded the highest honor. General Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi was thus appointed the new Minister of Defense. Throughout these developments, SCAF managed to keep a low profile, at least publicly. Following the 30th June demonstrations, SCAF returned to the public scene as leaders. With the armed forces now represented by General Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi, there have been no direct references to SCAF, a clear departure from the rhetoric of the first transitional period.
With Mubarak’s fall, state institutions were transformed immediately from having a pro- Mubarak stance to being protector and supporter of the revolution and its demands. However, SCAF stood against the demands of the revolution from the very beginning. In addition to the aforementioned Political Parties Law and Preventing Strikes Law, reference could be made here to their refusal to issue a Transitional Justice Law, which was one of the demands of the revolutionary forces following 11th February 2011. This was in light of the bloody incidents witnessed by the revolution claiming the lives of many people and was the subject of procrastination and indifference by the political power, represented by SCAF. Unfortunately, the Transitional Justice Law did not receive genuine interest even from traditional political forces. Hence, due to increased procrastination, this demand ended with SCAF passing the Political Isolation Law as late as April 2012 in order to prevent the participation of the leaders of the National Democratic Party in politics for 10 years. This law resulted from SCAF agreeing to pass certain articles in the Parliamentary Elections Law that are acceptable to the Al Wafd Party and the Muslim Brotherhood  in return for their approval of the Union Liberties Law. This dates back to before 25th January, as such a law was increasingly demanded in the wake of the revolution. Forces relied upon it to strengthen the structure of trade unions in Egypt in general and reveal their irregularities but it faced SCAF procrastination. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood had a draft bill during that period, which in turn would restrict the independence of trade unions and eliminate their plurality, putting pressure on union leaders and members who stood firmly behind this demand. 
Furthermore, there are notable beneficiaries from the current situation. There is, for instance, the phenomenon of advisors inside state ministries. They in return represent a financial burden on the state according to some official estimates. The state pays about 85 million pounds annually in wages for national and foreign experts but there is a lack of administrative and organizational transparency. It is apparent that advisors exist in large numbers in various ministries and governments, making it difficult to accurately estimate their numbers, which the various state apparatuses and institutions refuse to provide. The latter are not willing to reveal their real numbers  or cooperate with ministries such as Finance in this regard to admit their roles in hindering and disrupting issues such as wage structuring and state institution reform. In addition, the role of businessmen tied to power did not change from Mubarak’s time to the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule. The economic approaches in both Mubarak’s and Morsi’s reigns were similar in terms of adopting a market system which gives priority to investments and the private sector. Therefore, there was a kind of laxity and leniency in dealing with businessmen in the SCAF era and even the Muslim Brotherhood era, with continued reconciliations with Mubarak’s businessmen, despite accusations of corruption against them, prior to the presidential election and with widespread opposition from CSOs. This was shown clearly in Morsi’s visit to China in August 2012, when he was accompanied by a group of prominent National Democratic Party businessmen. Hence, the prevalent approach is the continuation of businessmen elites from Mubarak’s time, despite the removal of some figures and the addition of others. This is definitely one of the main obstacles hindering tax system reform, redirection of support to those who deserve it, development of basic services, setting-up markets and restructuring of wages.
The role of the media cannot be underemphasized and is as important as any other political actor. After the revolution, the media became the main arena for voicing freedom and for interactions in the public sphere. Multiple media networks and channels benefited from this space as the number of private satellite channels, as well as the number of private, independent, partisan or press of any political hue, increased dramatically (similar to the case of the 25th January TV Channel and the Freedom and Justice newspaper). This is in addition to the real political bias of a number of channels. Meanwhile, the discourse of government media or state-owned media evolved to be compatible with the change in regime as a result of government control of the Ministry of Information. This was a continuation of the approach of the old regime’s control through the Ministry of Information, which is appointed by the Executive in line with its approaches. It also controls local channels and other printed newspapers in all parts of the country. Hence, it controls the content provided to citizens, which is dominated by guidance and mobilization due to the absence of professional values and standards, as reflected in the practices and coverage of events starting from the revolution, which was depicted as a foreign conspiracy throughout the transitional period. For example, media coverage of the Maspero incident in 2011, which claimed the lives of around 24-35 citizens, mostly Christians, at the hands of the military police, was misleading and encouraged other citizens to defend the army, which was under attack by those people. This shows the level of control practiced over government media by security bodies and institutions of the old state, against any voice calling for the values of human rights and justice. This was despite ongoing demands after the revolution, adopted by many professionals, to eliminate the Ministry of Information and form a national media council. This would enjoy independence and coordinate work between the various media and stress professional values without addressing contents and approaches. However, it was not independent but was consistently used as a method to consolidate the power of one faction at the expense of the demands of the Egyptian revolution.
However, this situation is not only limited to state media, but also extends to private media, which flourished in the aftermath of the 25th January Revolution in terms of the number of satellite channels that were launched and owned by many businessmen, some of them closely related to Mubarak’s regime and his networks. This was interpreted by a number of specialists as attempts by these groups to influence the course of events in Egypt after the revolution with its social and economic demands, which are likely to affect their interests negatively. Many of those businessmen have been associated in one way or another with the political power in Egypt before the revolution. Perhaps that explains the shift that took place in these channels in its information and media policy on the issues and trends they addressed after the change of power in Egypt from the SCAF era until the present. This reflects the absence of professionalism in the performance of the media, as well as the amount of identification of power with the existing network of interests in which they are investing. According to some experts, annual losses of these channels, especially in light of the decline of advertising flows at a rate of some 40%, deepens this apprehension. This changed from the beginning of the revolution through the alteration in terminology and methods of work. Many popular public and private satellite channels, which did not support the Muslim Brotherhood, worked on highlighting the performance of the elected president in the light of suspicions over his intentions due to his affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood. There was a focus from the beginning on monitoring what was fulfilled in the 100-day program of Morsi’s rule according to what he promised in the presidential elections. They were also more focused on the President and his performance and in return the authorities clashed with the government as well as private media outlets, as shown in the investigation or termination of many of the employees in Maspero. This is in addition to the interference in the editorial policies of newspapers and banning of articles by certain writers.
This was followed by encouraging people to go out to protest on 30th June. The media depicted the removal of Morsi from office as a victory for the Egyptian will. However, with the aggravation of events, the media started to adopt a firm discourse towards the Muslim Brotherhood or those rejecting the use of a security solution in the disbursement of the Nahda and Rab’a protests, while accusing them of treason or of being an underground Muslim Brotherhood member. This was also reflected in the channels’ guest policy as they avoided those against the mainstream approach of clashing with the Muslim Brotherhood  or calling for a national reconciliation with all parties in light of the application of transitional justice. This was added to the preemptive measure of closure of channels affiliated with the Islamic stream on 2nd July, which led to the unified media voice.
Actors and Revolutionary Demands – Sticking to the Slogan and Putting Policies Aside
In the post-revolutionary phase until the present, political forces, especially political Islam, have neglected to address issues related to the organization of political life, as well as social and economic issues. Discussions around these issues were dragged into civil and religious polarization, which gave the impression of a zero sum game. In addition to this, laws and the debate around them reflected a mentality not much different from the way in which the issues were handled in the Mubarak regime.
The positions taken by newly-emerging actors can be analyzed at various levels:
At the Level of Political Parties
It is notable that all political parties emerging after the revolution made revolutionary demands. Even some of the old parties that worked in coordination with the Mubarak regime raised and adopted these revolutionary demands in contradiction with their ideology.
Despite the fact that the Masr al-Qaweya Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, and Al Dostour Party represent different trends, either center left, social democratic or liberal, they agreed on revolutionary demands. This is manifested in issues related to social justice, the right to health, education and transportation through conditioning the state’s active role in ensuring those rights as well as its commitment to international treaties. Similarly, their programs ensure the application of the minimum and maximum wages in the public sector as well as the application of the minimum wage in the private sector. Meanwhile, the three parties commonly agreed on ensuring rights and public freedoms, starting with the right to meet and the right to form unions, parties and civil society organizations.
Moreover, variance in the programs of those parties is quite notable in other issues. The Social Democratic Party, for example, presents the clearest and most distinct vision in the field of institutional reform of the state apparatus, beginning with the reconstruction and cleansing of corrupt police chiefs, and ending by adopting a new security approach and limiting the areas of intervention of those agencies in civil life. Similarly, such a vision is extended to cover other state apparatus, including civil and control agencies on both administrative and organizational aspects in terms of reducing the scope and number of those institutions, redeveloping their mission and goals and increasing vocational efficiency. This is in addition to other financial aspects, such as reconstructing the wage system inside these state institutions and applying the minimum and maximum wage policy. While the Social Democratic Party program does not clearly address the tax system, the Al Dostour Party program referred to the importance of applying tax fairly. However, the Masr al-Qaweya Party is clearer in demanding the adaptation of tax policy that prioritizes direct and gradual taxes. This is in addition to structuring the gradual tax on individuals’ income through increasing tax brackets, scaling tax fees, increasing tax fees on the higher brackets, raising the exemption limit, reducing taxes on low incomes and collecting taxes on different forms of capital and real-estate wealth and luxury consumption.
However, those parties have backtracked at the level of mechanisms, exemplified by their stance on the taxation system. They largely ignored the issue despite it being one of the main sources of funding social justice programs, and sometimes even supported the same unjust system adopted by the Mubarak regime of the poorest groups shouldering more of the tax burden. The tax system under the Mubarak regime was unjust and defective in many aspects. It did not differentiate between the income segments and seemed to serve only capitalist interests. It treated stock corporations and partnership corporations equally on taxes, as well as exempting the armed forces, yet overloads small, labor-intensive projects. The political parties barely addressed serious, open public discussion of these demands and concentrated more on debating cultural issues, leading to high tensions and polarization within society. In the debates on the constitutional articles of the 2012 Constitution, including the articles on the nature of the state, they showed bias in favor of either the religious state or a powerful military. Moreover, the Islamic articles established a religious state and defined the ideal behavior for citizens by restricting rights and public liberties as set out in the articles on family and women. This is in addition to the most famous article 219, which opens the door to strict religious interpretation and restriction of citizens’ freedoms, as it adds a sectarian color to the Egyptian identity.
However, these discussions collapsed in light of concerns over the draft 2013 Constitution, in which the biggest debate is about the expected militarization of the new Constitution. This was seen in articles ensuring the continued independence of the military institution, organizationally and financially, in addition to the ongoing predominance of security represented in the possibility of prosecuting civilians in military tribunals, according to article 174 of the suggested constitutional amendments. But there is also a reluctance to address the reform of subsidization policies, either monetary or in-kind, in addition to the reduction or abolition of energy subsidies for high energy-consuming industries, as well as the stance on greater market controls. This is applicable for all new parties regardless of their ideology.
Political Blocs, Streams and Campaigns
Most of the active political campaigns revolved around specific issues, such as “no to military trials”, which was formulated following the dispersal of the Tahrir sit-in in March 2011. Activist lawyers and journalists joined the campaign to follow detainees who faced military tribunals in order to push for the elimination of military tribunals for civilians and the referral of detainees to civil courts. They expanded their campaign to consolidate it at the legal and constitutional levels by addressing the first Constituent Assembly, responsible for the 2012 Constitution, with their proposals. They also took the same campaign to the Committee of 50, responsible for the current constitutional amendments. The “Drop Egypt’s Debts” campaign was formulated in the aftermath of the 25th January Revolution to review Egypt’s debts and devise solutions to drop, pay off or even replace them in such a way that neither affects future development projects nor hinders the fulfillment of desired social justice.53 This campaign was active as a result of the strenuous government efforts to borrow from the World Bank, as it announced its rejection of the economic reform program after Kamal El-Ganzouri’s government, upon which World Bank approval depended. That was followed by many attempts to influence official decision-making circles, such as the parliament at the time, and even governments after El-Ganzouri during the era of Mohamed Morsi, which resumed negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. It seems that the campaigns did not concentrate on demands directly as much as on the consequences of not achieving those demands. These campaigns were not coordinated to act as a catalyst for the fulfillment of demands; they merely continued attempts to resolve the previous inflicted injustices rather than achieving an objective. Hence, they remained reactive rather than proactive.
As for coalitions, streams and campaigns (the Salvation Front, the Popular Current and Tamarod), they were formed in order to fulfill revolutionary objectives. However, even though they deviated from their aims after two years regarding the demands of the establishment of a civilian democratic state, these coalitions were compelled to unite in the wake of the Muslim Brotherhood’s hegemony and domination intentions at the time, as was the case in the Constitutional Declaration in November 2012. These forces justified their alliance to establish a democratic civil state, as well as opposition to the continuation of the Qandil government because of its failure to meet the citizens’ economic and social needs and the continuation of borrowing policies and foreign dependence. Tamarod, for example, announced on 30th June that they represented the second wave of the 25th January Revolution.
They all focused on confronting the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime, such as its control over state institutions, the so-called “Brotherhoodization of the state”. Meanwhile, there was withdrawal from addressing the restrictions of the current law on political parties. This is clear from the loose phrases in the law restricting the formation and continuation of parties. This is in addition to considerations over national security and national unity as well as the strict conditions of establishing political parties in terms of large number of members, geographical distribution, nationality as well as the broad powers granted to the Chairman of the Committee on Political Parties and District Attorney to intervene in the affairs of the party and its assessment, which was a threat to its independence. Moreover, the Prevention of Strike Law was issued by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) after the 25th January Revolution, put into effect by Dr. Essam Sharaf’s government, to prosecute the workers demanding their rights to strike and protest, bring them to trial and threaten protest organizers by subjecting them to the Anti-Terrorism Law, which witnessed no significant or critical objections from political forces, other than revolutionary ones.
It is also notable that old parties in these blocs (the Al Wafd Party and the National Progressive Unionist Party) played a vital role in pushing all fronts to the same duality that existed during the Mubarak era.
Their position regarding transitional justice is also relevant. All parties demanded the punishment of their political rivals, addressed their allies with the concept of “forgive and forget what took place in the past” and completely condoned the reform of state institutions now in their favor. Only civil society organizations or select blocs with moral leanings spoke of the rights of the martyrs. Hence, transitional justice was largely turned into a political tool. Since SCAF has led the country, there has been procrastination and evasion over civil society organizations and activists’ demands for laws and a commission to take charge of the transitional justice regarding the Mubarak era. A Political Isolation Law was passed in April 2012 as an attempt to placate the people and the political actors seeking to prevent figures from the Mubarak regime from running for presidential election. The law was limited to preventing leading political figures in the regime from political participation for 10 years, without any trials, compensation for victims or any vision of institutional reform. The law was ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court in June 2012. This issue was then neglected under Morsi and there was even an obvious trend to tolerate (mainly economic) figures from the Mubarak regime and integrate them into the Muslim Brotherhood’s network, regardless of suspicions over the involvement of most of them in the corrupt, exploitative economic policies and networks under Mubarak. After 30th June, there was some hope for the setting up of a separate ministry entitled the Ministry of Transitional Justice, but it limited its efforts and fact-finding committee to investigating only the crimes which the Muslim Brotherhood committed after 30th June. Moreover, there is a tendency to call for applying transitional justice to the Muslim Brotherhood’s financial corruption during Morsi’s presidential year, relating to offices they held at that time  and to their violent attacks against their opponents, such as those in front of the presidential palace on 6th December 2012 . But any mention of the same practices and crimes committed in the Mubarak era, SCAF’s transitional year or even after Morsi’s ousting were avoided.
Revolutionary demands emerged to express the political and economic discontent that Egyptians suffered during the Mubarak era. The revolution came to produce new actors who had been marginalized in Mubarak’s regime in addition to other powers that resulted from the umbrella of the revolution. Yet, in contrast to many revolutions, old actors did not disappear in the Egyptian case and state institutions remained unchanged at the level of structure, hierarchy or approaches.
Those new actors withdrew at the policy and practice level, although they adopted the demands and themes of the revolution at the agenda level. They sometimes even worked to justify that status as a normal result of subjective and objective factors. The subjective factor means that those entities that do not have an obvious identity at the political or social levels can be founded as political entities based on the needs of the current moment without the need to adopt clear programs and approaches. Meanwhile, the objective factor is the strong bond between the achievement of revolutionary demands and power balances in a society that did not witness concrete change after the revolution. This was despite the appearance of new actors contained by the civic-religious polarization struggle. This kind of struggle is considered a magical formula in the hands of political stakeholders to maintain the status quo and, accordingly, to demolish the demands of the revolution to get stuck with the same duality that governed Egyptian politics for years.
As previously mentioned, there was a prevailing neglect of the issue of transitional justice since it was first raised by the revolutionary and democratic forces in the wake of the outbreak of the 25th January Revolution. This was in order to reveal crimes committed against citizens and the country in the Mubarak era politically and criminally through the events of the 25th January Revolution, which witnessed crimes against those who took to the streets in protest, as well as the period that followed, with the growing violence on the part of the authority and some political and community forces. However, that demand was faced with a great deal of procrastination from the existing political forces, namely SCAF, which circumvented this by passing the Political Isolation Law in 2012, which could only prevent the National Democratic Party members and leaders from political action for a period of ten years, without being liable for the criminal offenses committed in the Mubarak or SCAF eras. Moreover, it did not tackle the procedures and mechanisms to be activated to achieve this justice, until it was ended by a ruling of unconstitutionality.
However, with the escalation of events in the aftermath of 30th June in Egypt and the country officially setting out on a new political path announced on 3rd July, several calls began for the implementation of transitional justice regarding the crimes committed in that period and earlier by all sides without exception. However, both parties of the main conflict (the state and its old security apparatuses vs. the Islamists) call for the implementation of transitional justice or a law concerning the crimes committed against each of them, and their followers accuse each other of committing crimes against it, as in the cases of Bin El Sarayat and El Manial vs. the events of the Republican Guard and that of dispersing the sits-ins of Nahda and Rab’a, where more than 377 demonstrators were shot and over 100 persons, mainly Christians, were killed by Islamist groups in response. This made some call it a selective justice rather than a transitional one because of the clear curtailment.
In order to move towards the fulfillment of the revolutionary demands, the powers emerging from the revolution must realize the importance of eschewing the acute polarization that prevails in Egyptian society and then work at the relevant economic, political, or social policy levels that affect citizens. Moreover, they have to address the monopolization of power by traditional forces in Egypt, whether in state institutions or even in the opposition. This involves connecting the revolutionary path, which is based on the social protests and youth campaigns in Egypt, with the political path, which is about drafting the new constitution and the upcoming elections. The adoption of strategies to enlarge the supportive community scope at the political level must replace agitation for civic violence on a civic/religious basis. State institutions should involve the reformist bloc founded by the revolution and its mobility within those institutions. There should be a distinctive political objective in both parliamentary and presidential elections to build coalitions on programs and policies that aim not only to raise issues for political gain but to achieve revolutionary demands on a lasting basis.
 W. Gamal, “Nazif, His Government and NDP and Einstein”, Al Shorouq, 13th April 2012, available at: http://www.shorouknews.com/columns/view.aspx?cdate=13042010&id=4a7641d4-b632-4308-8316-2bdc20db9413
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 Six revolutionary nominees representing different mainstreams.
 Hotel in Cairo where Mohamed Morsi met with important social figures and promised to maintain revolutionary principles.
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 Official Al Dostour Party Facebook page, available at: https://www.facebook.com/AldostourP/info
 Al Dostour Party, the Popular Current, the Conference Party, Al Wafd Party, the Free Egyptians Party, Masr Al Horiya Party, National Progressive Unionist Party, Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Democratic Front Party, Al Karama (Dignity) Party, Socialist Popular Alliance Party, Reform and Development Party, Revolutionary Socialists, Egypt Freedom Party, Egyptian Socialist Party, National Association for Change, Alliance of Nasrists Parties, Farmers Union, Independent Farms Union, National Front for Women, Egypt the Future Party, Democratic Peace Party. Formal spokespersons of National Salvation Front are: Hussien Abdel Ghany, Sameh Ashour, Amr Moussa, Wahid Abdel Majeed, Shady Al Ghazaly Harb, Gorge Izak, Hamdain Sabahy and Alsayed Albadawy.
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 The program of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, pp. 14-16.
 The program of the Al Dostour Party, Al Dostour website, available at: http://www.aldostourparty.org/%D8% A8%D8%B1%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%AC_%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%B2%D8%A8
 The Masr al-Qaweya Party program, published on their main page on Facebook, available at: https://www.facebook.com /MisrAlQawia/app_137541772984354
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[ 51] “Who we are”, No to Military Trials website, available at: http://www.nomiltrials.com/p/blog-page.html
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 The official website of the National Salvation Front, available at: http://www.nsfeg.org/
 H. Emara, op. cit.
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 M. Al Qazaz, “Egypt Awaits Transitional Justice”, Al Ahram, 9th September 2013
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 M. Al Qazaz, “Egypt Awaits Transitional Justice”, Al Ahram, 9th September 2013,