The Egyptian political scene has seen considerable turbulence since the 2011 revolution, with the balance of forces shifting dramatically on more than one occasion. Recent political upheaval following Mohamed Morsi’s ouster has once again reformulated the Egyptian political map.
In the aftermath of Morsi’s ouster on 3 June, armed forces chief General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced a transitional roadmap, with the support of a number of anti-Brotherhood political players.
Senior judge Adly Mansour was declared interim president. A new cabinet was put in place, comprised of leading figures from a number of liberal-leaning parties, as well as figures from both the Mubarak and Morsi regimes.
The formation of the interim government was then followed by a new constitutional declaration.
The political scene is now broadly divided into three camps: those who support the current military-backed government, those who still support Morsi, and groups that stand in between the two camps, opposing the Muslim Brotherhood but rejecting the current government.
The aim here is to give a snapshot of these divisions and a sense of where key groups stand.
Since the size of and popular support for these organisations cannot be accurately assessed, a proxy indicator was used to give a sense of political weight - the number of Facebook page subscribers.
The three camps that are outlined in this rough map do not however, capture the complexity of the different opinions that exist amongst the wider population.
I Supporters of the current regime:
The National Salvation Front
The Rebel (Tamarod) campaign
The June 30 Front
The Popular Current
The Wafd Party
The Constitution Party
The Egyptian Social Democratic Party
The Free Egyptians Party
The Coptic Orthodox Church
The army, the police, and the judiciary
II Anti-Brotherhood but not pro-current regime:
The Nour Party
The Strong Egypt Party
The Socialist Popular Alliance Party
The April 6 Movement
The Egyptian Current Party
The Revolutionary Socialists
The Third Square
III Supporters of Morsi:
The Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party
The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy
Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail and his supporters
The Wasat Party
The Watan Party
Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya and the Building and Development Party
I PRO-CURRENT REGIME
The National Salvation Front
The National Salvation Front (NSF) was formed in late November 2012, following the controversial constitutional declaration issued by then-president Mohamed Morsi, which rendered his decisions immune from judicial review, provoking strong popular opposition.
The groups that came together to form the NSF included a number of liberal and leftist parties and movements - the Wafd Party, the Constitution Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Popular Socialist Alliance Party, the Free Egyptians Party and the Egyptian Popular Current.
In the spring of 2013, the NSF coalition joined forces with the anti-Morsi Rebel campaign (Tamarod) to call for early presidential elections, and went on to fully support the ouster of Morsi on 3 July.
The Rebel (Tamarod) Campaign (554k)
The grassroots campaign was started in April 2013 by three activists who participated in the January 25 uprising. Rebel aimed to collect more than 15 million signatures supporting a “withdrawal of confidence” in president Morsi, to exceed the number of votes he had won in the presidential elections.
As momentum built around the campaign, other opposition groups, including the NSF, adopted Rebel's aims and supported its call for protests against Morsi on 30 June, the first anniversary of his presidency.
On the day, organisers submitted 22 million petitions to the prosecutor-general's office.
The campaign organisers fully supported the military’s subsequent ouster of Morsi and endorsed the transition plan, albeit with some reservations about the constitutional decree.
Official website: www.tamarud.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Tmrood
The 30 June Front
The front was established days before the 30 June demonstrations called for by the Rebel campaign and other groups.
The front delegated Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the Constitution Party, to represent it in the dialogue called for by armed forces chief General El-Sisi on 3 July.
The Popular Current (145k)
The Popular Current movement was established by the Nasserist former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi following the June 2012 presidential elections, in which he finished third. The group’s members include Nasserists, leftists, and pro-revolution youth.
The current was a founding member of the NSF.
The current also supported the call for demonstrations on 30 June, with Sabbahi mentoring Rebel activists on strategic and tactical questions.
The group supports the interim prime minister and cabinet, but cited some reservations about the constitutional decree.
Sabbahi has come out in favour of dispersing the Brotherhood's sit-ins in Cairo, but called on the security forces to minimise casualties.
Official website: http://www. tayarshaaby .net
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TayarSha3by
The Wafd Party (203k)
The liberal, right-of-centre party, formed in 1978, was the largest opposition group during the Mubarak regime and played an active role in parliament.
Since the 2011 revolution the party has participated in various coalitions, even briefly joining forces with the Muslim Brotherhood, before choosing to enter parliamentary elections independently.
During the 2011 parliamentary elections the party secured the largest number of seats by any non-Islamist party, gaining 38 seats out of 508 in the lower house.
During the 2012 presidential elections the party supported Mubarak-era foreign minister Amr Moussa, who came fifth.
The party joined the NSF on its formation in November 2012, and supports the current military-backed government.
Official website: http://www.alwafd.org
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Alwafdparty
The Constitution Party (39k)
The left-of-centre party, which was formed in April 2012, is part of the second wave of political parties formed after the 2011 revolution.
It was founded by liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei, and includes a number of revolutionary youth, as well as liberal and social-democratic elements.
ElBaradei was a key player in negotiating Morsi’s ouster with the armed forces. In the resulting cabinet he was appointed vice president for foreign affairs.
In recent weeks, the Nobel Peace Prize winner has come under fire from staunch opponents of the Brotherhood after speaking out against calls to forcibly disperse pro-Morsi sit-ins.
The Constitution Party secured two other ministerial spots in the post-Morsi cabinet: Hossam Eissa, deputy prime minister and minister of higher education, and Ahmed El-Borai, minister of social solidarity.
Official website: http://www.aldostourparty.org
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hezbeldostor
The Egyptian Social Democratic Party (41k)
The left-of-centre liberal party, which was founded by a host of liberal figures and revolutionary youth after the 2011 revolution, won 16 seats in the 2011 parliamentary elections.
The Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) was also a founding member of the NSF, playing an active role in the opposition to the Brotherhood regime.
Since 30 June, the party has actively supported the new regime and Interim President Adly Mansour.
Two founding members of the party were appointed to key cabinet positions: Hazem El-Beblawi became prime minister and Ziad Bahaa El-Din became deputy prime minister for economic affairs and minister of international cooperation.
Official website: http://www.egysdp.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Egysdp
The Free Egyptians Party (308k)
The liberal, right-of-centre party, which was founded by the Egyptian business tycoon Naguib Sawiris after the 2011 revolution, won 17 seats in the 2011 parliamentary elections.
It was among the founding members of the NSF and has been a staunch critic of the Brotherhood rule.
Following the ouster of Morsi, Sawiris, who was targeted by the Brotherhood for alleged financial impropriety, announced that he and his family plan to invest in Egypt "like never before."
Official page: http://www.almasreyeenalahrrar.org
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/almasreyeenalahrrar
Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb, the head of the country's leading Islamic institution Al-Azhar, gave his blessing to the military's decision on 3 July to oust president Mohamed Morsi.
Over the last two years, El-Tayyeb, who was appointed by Mubarak but remained in the job after the 2011 revolution, was the target of a strong smear campaign by Brotherhood members and Salafists for failing to back their ultra-conservative proposals during the process of drafting the 2012 constitution.
The Coptic Orthodox Church
Pope Tawadros II, who was enthroned as the 118th Coptic Orthodox Pope in November 2012, supported the army’s intervention to oust president Morsi.
Egyptian Copts, a minority that have suffered from discrimination and periodic sectarian attacks, have long been wary that an Islamist government could worsen their situation.
In the fall of 2012, Tawadros removed the church's representatives in the constitution-writing assembly in objection to attempts by the Brotherhood and its Salafist allies to enshrine ultra-conservative elements in the country's charter.
The pope also openly criticised Morsi after a failure by the police to protect the country's main cathedral from attacks by thugs in April 2012.
The church has made it known to Egypt's new government that it intends to oppose any articles in a revised constitution that would pave the way to a theocratic state.
Three major state institutions openly opposed Mohamed Morsi during the recent transition; the army, the police and the judiciary.
The army led the ouster process. General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who is armed forces chief and defence minister, issued an ultimatum on 1 July calling on political powers to agree to abide by “the people's will.” On 3 July he made a statement announcing that Morsi was being removed and outlining a new political roadmap.
Originally appointed in August 2012 by Morsi after the president forced defence minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi to retire, El-Sisi was presumed by some to be a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially as his uncle was a prominent Brotherhood figure.
Despite recent claims by some in the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood that the army is split on El-Sisi's move to depose Morsi, there is little indication of opposition to El-Sisi within the army ranks.
The Egyptian police made it clear in the run-up the 30 June protests that they would protect the anti-Morsi demonstrators. Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, who had earlier collaborated with the Morsi administration in suppressing anti-Brotherhood protests, abandoned the Islamist leader, declaring that the police would respect “the will of the people.”
Under Morsi, the police had faced criticism from all sides.
Human rights groups and liberal parties criticised continuing brutality and torture. The Brotherhood leadership, on the other hand, accused the police of failing to protect their premises and headquarters from violent attacks by the opposition. The minister of interior also faced the wrath of many of his police officers who accused him of fronting for the Brotherhood, a group the officers targeted and persecuted prior to the 2011 revolution.
The judiciary immediately supported – and celebrated – the downfall of the Brotherhood administration. For much of his brief presidency Morsi had been engaged in a struggle with judges who had opposed some of his decisions.
In fact, the first wave of anti-Brotherhood demonstrations erupted in November 2012 after Morsi removed the prosecutor-general and also rendered some of his own decrees immune to judicial review, a move that infuriated the judiciary and large sections of the public.
II ANTI-BROTHERHOOD BUT NOT PRO-CURRENT REGIME:
The Nour Party (359k)
The Nour Party was founded by the Salafist Call, an Islamist grouping that took up politics following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.
Nour is the largest and most important Salafist political party. It won 107 seats in the 2011 parliamentary elections, the largest share of any party apart from the Brotherhood’s FJP.
Initially supportive of Morsi’s government, the party eventually became a vocal critic. The group refrained from joining the 30 June demonstrations, but supported the army-led transition and appeared at the press conference announcing it on 3 July.
The party supported the new cabinet of technocrats but chose not to participate in the transitional government. Nour rejected both Mohamed ElBaradei and Ziad Bahaa El-Din for the post of prime minister and posed various restrictions on the constitutional declaration, objecting heavily to the dissolution of the Shura Council and insisting the constitution be "frozen for amendments" and not "dismissed and replaced" in order to preserve the articles related to Islamic sharia.
Official website: http://www.alnourparty.org
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AlnourParty
The Strong Egypt Party (150k)
Founded in October 2012 by former presidential candidate and ex-Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, the Strong Egypt Party combines an Islamist orientation with an inclusive platform that leans towards social justice.
Although the party has never been part of any opposition coalition, it rejected the Muslim Brotherhood-backed 2012 constitution and participated in the 30 June protests to demand early presidential elections.
However, the party rejected the army’s intervention to depose Morsi, describing it as a coup, and went on to oppose the interim president and the 8 July constitutional declaration, as well as the new cabinet.
The party proposed a national referendum on whether Morsi should stay in power as a solution to the current political deadlock, but the suggestion was not backed by other political players.
Official website: http://www.MisrAlQawia.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MisrAlQawia
The Socialist Popular Alliance Party (58k)
The party was formed soon after the 2011 revolution, and won seven seats in the 2011 parliamentary elections.
The largest of the leftist opposition parties in Egypt, the party has been a member of the National Salvation Front since its foundation, and also supported the Rebel campaign and its call for 30 June demonstrations.
However, soon after the 3 July intervention by the army, the party announced that it would not partake in the interim stage negotiations or in the new cabinet. It also indicated that it is reviewing its membership in the NSF.
The party took a critical stance towards the 8 July constitutional decree, announcing a list of proposed changes. It also criticised the appointment of a number of ministers who had been in the previous cabinet, especially the interior minister, who the party holds responsible for various violent incidents during Brotherhood rule.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/popular.alliance.party
The April 6 Youth Movement (524k)
The youth movement, which was created in 2008 to support a workers' strike, played a key role in organising the 2011 revolution which brought down Hosni Mubarak.
The group experienced a small split in 2011, leading to the formation of the April 6 Youth Movement – Democratic Front.
The Democratic Front generally shares the same positions as its parent group on key issues.
In the run-off round of the presidential elections in 2012, April 6 supported Morsi against Mubarak-era candidate Ahmed Shafiq. However, shortly after his election as president, the group broke with Morsi, citing his betrayal of the goals of the revolution.
The movement supported the call for demonstrations on 30 June and backed the intervention to oust president Morsi, but rejected the new cabinet because of its inclusion of a number of ministers from the Mubarak era.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shabab6april
The Egyptian Current Party (41k)
The Egyptian Current Party was originally founded immediately after the fall of Mubarak by breakaway Muslim Brotherhood youth members and by a number of April 6 Youth Movement members soon in an attempt to establish a “middle current” representing all Egyptians.
They participated in the parliamentary elections as part of the Revolution Continues Coalition but did not win any seats; however one of the party’s members was appointed to the Shura Council by Mohamed Morsi.
The party supported the 30 June protests and the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, but opposed the selection of the new cabinet, especially the retention of Morsi’s interior minister and various Mubarak-regime figures.
The party also strongly condemned all acts of violence against the Brotherhood and all attacks on Morsi supporters, eventually joining forces with other groups to support the Third Square initiative which opposes both military rule and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Official website: http://www.tmparty.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TMParty
The Revolutionary Socialists (21k)
The Revolutionary Socialists movement started during the 1980s. The group adopted a socialist stance against the Soviet Union model and also against capitalist models, based on the ideology that revolution led by the working class is necessary in order to achieve social change.
The movement played a small but significant role with the No To Military Trials initiative in organising opposition to military council rule in 2011-2012.
The movement supported the Rebel campaign and was part of the organising committee for the 30 June protests. It was also a member of the June 30 Front.
However the group criticised calls for the army to play a role in politics and maintains its opposition to military rule as well as Muslim Brotherhood rule.
Official page: http://revsoc.me/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RevSoc.me
The Third Square (20k)
The Third Square movement was founded in early July 2013 by a number of activists from the Revolutionary Socialists, the April 6 Youth Movement, the Egyptian Current Party and others to oppose both the Muslim Brotherhood and military rule. The organisation has been holding regular protests in Sphinx Square in Giza.
The movement has garnered considerable attention in the international media, but protests so far remain small.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ElMidan.ElTalet
III SUPPORTERS OF MORSI:
The Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party (1.1million)
The Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, continue to stand firmly behind their chosen president, Mohamed Morsi.
The organisation has had a complex relation with politics ever since its formation in 1928. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Brotherhood combined anti-colonialist rhetoric with attempts to curry favour with the British-supported King Farouk. The group carried out several assassinations of opposition figures and members of the judiciary, leading the government to ban it in 1949.
Although the Brotherhood came into favour briefly with the Free Officers who overthrew the monarchy in 1952, the group was soon suppressed by president Abdel-Nasser after a power struggle, and only returned to the political sphere under president Anwar Sadat in the 1970s.
Under Hosni Mubarak, the Brotherhood was at times allowed to run in parliamentary elections but kept its power in check through regular imprisonment of its leaders and key members.
Initially opposed to the January 25 demonstrations that started the 2011 revolution, the Brotherhood joined the movement on 28 January.
In the spring of 2011, the Brotherhood founded the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and won the largest number of seats in the 2011 parliamentary elections (213). The party’s presidential candidate, Mohamed Morsi, was elected president on 30 June 2012.
Both the Brotherhood and the FJP stood behind the president and condemned calls for demonstrations on 30 June, denouncing the Rebel movement as an insult to popular legitimacy.
The groups founded the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy in June, together with a number of other Islamist organisations.
Official website: http://www.fjparty.org
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FJParty.Official
The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy
The alliance was formed on the Friday that preceded the 30 June to oppose calls for demonstrations to topple president Morsi.
The alliance includes the Freedom and Justice Party, the Wasat Party, the Watan Party, and the Building and Development Party – all of them Islamist-oriented.
The coalition called for demonstrations starting on 28 June and a sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in Cairo’s Nasr City to support Morsi.
The alliance continues to reject the army's intervention to depose Morsi, calling it a military coup, and insists on his return.
The alliance continues to be a key organiser of the two large sit-ins in support of Morsi in Greater Cairo – the Rabaa Al-Adawiya demonstration and a second sit-in at Al-Nahda Square in Giza. The alliance also holds regular demonstrations and protests all over the country to pressure the interim government.
Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail and his supporters (1.1 million)
Salafist figure Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail attempted to run in the presidential elections in 2012 but was disqualified on the grounds that his mother held dual citizenship. His disqualification caused outrage among his followers who held numerous demonstrations and sit-ins protesting the decision.
Since then, Abu-Ismail has been a strong supporter of Mohamed Morsi, and at times his supporters held protests and demonstrations in support of Morsi’s government, including in December 2012 when the groups besieged Media Production City, a media complex just outside of Cairo.
Abu-Ismail has described the opposition to Morsi as pro-Mubarak, and rejected the "army coup" and all the decisions that followed.
On 7 July, Abu-Ismail was detained by the police on charges of inciting murder. He was also accused of forging a statement about his mother not holding any foreign nationality during his application to stand as a candidate in the presidential elections.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HazemSalahFB
The Wasat Party (176k)
The party, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood formed in 1996, holds a more moderate stance on a number of issues than the Brotherhood.
In the 2011 parliamentary elections, the party won 10 seats. During presidential elections, the party fielded their own candidate, Islamist thinker and judicial expert Mohamed Selim El-Awa, and then supported Mohamed Morsi during the runoffs.
In recent months the party has stood behind Morsi, and joined forces with the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy.
The party's deputy, Essam Sultan, addressed the Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in a number of times showing full support for Morsi. Sultan and party head Abou Ela Madi were arrested on 28 June on charges of inciting violence at Rabaa.
Official website: http://www.alWasatParty.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/alwasatparty
The Watan Party (8k)
Established by a number of defectors from the Salafist Nour Party in January 2013, Watan closely allied itself to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
It is part of the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/watanpartyeg
Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya and the Building and Development Party (12k)
The Building and Development Party was established by the ultra-conservative Islamist group Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya after the 2011 revolution.
Initially an ally of the Salafist Nour Party during parliamentary elections in 2011, the party followed the Salafists in endorsing the former Brotherhood leader Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh during the first round of the 2012 presidential elections.
Abul-Fotouh did not make it to the run-off round, so the party, which has a strong social base in Upper Egypt, threw its weight behind Mohamed Morsi. It remained a strong ally of the Muslim Brotherhood during Morsi’s presidency.
Hoping to rally Islamist supporters behind him in his final days, president Morsi appointed a leading Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya figure, who was implicated in killings of tourists in Luxor in 1997, as governor of Luxor. The move provoked considerable anger, especially in Luxor, and the nominee was forced to decline the position.
As member of the Brotherhood-led legitimacy alliance, the organisation supports demonstrations and sit-ins until Morsi returns, and rejects the new president and cabinet, and the interim constitutional decree.
Official Page: http://benaaparty.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/%D8%AD%D8%B2%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D9%86%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%A9/241671439178143?ref=ts&fref=ts
Since the 2011 revolution, violent attacks attributed to Islamist militants have been on the rise, but the number of attacks by Islamist militants against police and armed forces in northern Sinai has spiked significantly following Morsi’s ouster.
It is difficult to make solid estimates of size or affiliations of the groups believed to be operating in Sinai, but sources suggest there could be as many as 12,000 fighters from politically diverse Islamist backgrounds engaged in an attrition war against security forces.
These militants are believed to have orchestrated major operations against security forces such as the killing of 16 soldiers in northern Sinai in August 2012 and the kidnapping of 7 soldiers in May 2013, in addition to multiple other frequent, less deadly attacks on check points and police stations.
Over the past year, the Egyptian army has escalated its ongoing campaign against these militants, claiming in August that it had killed dozens since Morsi’s ouster.
The escalation of militant attacks on the military and police is believed by some to be engineered by Brotherhood leaders who enjoy a close relationship with these groups.
In fact, Mohamed El-Beltagi, a senior Brotherhood leader, announced days after Morsi's ouster that his group could help bring attacks on the army in Sinai under control if Morsi is allowed to return to the presidency.