social solidarity, constitutional monarchy, national referendum, military dictatorship, military officers
Egypt was a constitutional monarchy from 1923 to 1952, when military officers seized control of the government. Although Egypt became a republic in 1953, it essentially remained a military dictatorship dominated by a single political party. In 1978 a multiparty political system was instituted.
Egypt is governed under a constitution that was approved by a national referendum in 1971. The constitution, which was amended in 1977 and 1980, provides for an Arab socialist state with Islam as the official religion. It also stresses social solidarity, equal opportunity, and popular control of production.
Political power is concentrated primarily in the presidency. Since 1952 Egypt’s presidents have risen from the military, which holds considerable authority in the government. The orientation and policies of the government have shifted considerably with changes in the presidency.
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