How Egypt’s uprising changed the structure of governance? Initially, the uprising began on Police Day as a protest against the abuses committed by the security forces. Eventually, it left the police less feared than before and less respected than ever. Mubarak stepped down and turned power over to military (Supreme Council of Armed Forces) that dissolved the Parliament, dismissed Mubarak’s last prime Minister and changed the Supreme Constitutional Court Law allowing the Court more independence and the next president less influence in choosing its Chief Justice. In this sense, it would seem that both the military and the judiciary were the two institutions that continued to exist after the uprising.
It was the military that was assigned to drive the country through the transition process. It took major decisions in terms of setting the road map regarding the elections and the constitution. However, like any other military, Egypt’s military did not have the experience to make political decisions and therefore it made major mistakes. One critical mistake was salvaging the 1971 Constitution despite the majority voting to just amend its problematic articles. Another critical mistake was designing the elections law in an unconstitutional way that led to dissolving the lower chamber of the Parliament and creating a legal threat to the upper chamber too.
The Judiciary played two roles through reviewing the legality of major steps and supervising the voting process. Its power of judicial review led to decisions that were not welcomed by some political parties such as the decision to dissolve the first Constituent Assembly assigned with drafting the constitution and the decision to dissolve the lower chamber of the Parliament. Its task to supervise the voting process started with the March 2011 Referendum, then the parliamentary elections for the two chamber, and ended with the presidential elections that resulted in Mursi winning.
On July 2012, President Mursi took oath before the Supreme Constitutional Court to start exercising his powers. The Main source of these powers is the March 2011 Constitutional Decree that allowed the military the legislative and executive powers until electing a parliament and a president. However, after dissolving the lower chamber of the parliament and one day before announcing the name of the President Elect, the military issued another Constitutional Decree (June 2012) keeping some executive and all legislative powers. Later on, Mursi dismissed his senior military officers and issued a Constitutional Decree (August 2012) revoking the one issued by the military.
In brief, the “System of Governance” as mentioned in Part V of the 1971 Constitution ended up with the executive and legislative powers in the hands of the military and the judicial powers in hands of the judiciary (considering the Supreme Constitutional Court part of it). Now, with Mursi in office holding both executive and legislative powers, the doctrine of separation of powers seems to be at risk. As the head of the executive, he repositioned the military to be "theoretically" part of the executive branch again and at the same time he declared that he would exercise the legislative powers only if necessary. However, his clash with the judiciary, as I will explain later, represents a serious threat to the doctrine.