The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Brotherhood Guidance Bureau proposes new governors

Brotherhood Guidance Bureau proposes new governors | Egypt Independent

The Muslim Brotherhood's Guidance Bureau has proposed a list of 50 new governors to President Mohamed Morsy, a source within the group told Al-Masry Al-Youm on condition of anonymity Tuesday.

Different sources close to the president told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Morsy would appoint eight new governors from the Freedom and Justice Party and five from the Salafi Nour Party.

This is hugely important in several respects.

  • First, this appears to break with past practice of chiefly recruiting governors from the senior ranks of the military and police (although I suspect some of these will still be there, particularly for border governorates).
  • Secondly, it's not clear what formal ties the MB's Guidance Bureau has to the president (aside from him being a former member of the Bureau and current member of the Brotherhood) and unusual in Egyptian history for a political party — even the ruling party — to be involved in these decisions.
  • Thirdly, the proportions described above, if you accept that a MB president will obviously choose some of his own, appear to either take the Nour Party's parliamentary elections resuits as a guide to their representation in governorates (even though that parliament was disbanded and the proportions might very well change by the next election) or arbitrarily assign them major rewards, which would be a sign of a (renewed) political alliance.
  • Finally, it's important to note that the governor positions are incredibly important in Egypt's administration and security governance. Control of these positions would give those parties that have them a significant advantage  in future elections, notably the ability to mobilize the administration and local police, as was carried out under the NDP.

I'm also struck that these appointments are taking place before the conclusion of a new constitution, which could (and should) shift the system towards the direct election of governors. It would hint at a continuation of the presidential appointment of governors, a system that considerably adds to the power of the presidency.