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Egypt

A draft of the new constitution—replacing the one adopted under Morsi—was released in early December. While it includes provisions that protect citizens, including a ban on torture, human trafficking, and violence against women, the constitution expanded the powers of the police and security forces and the military. It also outlaws religious political parties, which means Islamist parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood would be banned. The constitution was put to a referendum on Jan. 14 and 15, 2014, and 98% voted in favor. The Muslim Brotherhood boycotted the vote. Turnout was 38%, but less than 20% for voters under age 30.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Cairo on Jan. 25, 2014, the third anniversary of the uprising against the autocratic former president Hosni Mubarak, both to commemorate the revolt and to support Gen. Sisi. In other parts of the city and in surrounding areas, violence broke out between rival anti-government groups, including Islamists and secularists. About 50 people were killed.

In February 2014, Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal were charged with using more than $17 million in state funds for renovations on their private homes. They were found guilty of embezzlement in May. Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to three years in prison and his sons four years. They were also fined $3 million and ordered to pay back the $17 million.

Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawy and several members of his cabinet resigned abruptly on Feb. 24, 2014. Beblawy did not give a reason for stepping down. He had been in office since July 2013, and has dealt with a series of daunting challenges, including an economy in tatters, continued protests, and labor strikes. He was replaced by Ibrahim Mehlib, an industrialist who served as housing minister under Mubarak.

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