This paper maps the basic opposition groups that influenced the Egyptian political system in the last years of Hosni Mubarak’s rule. It approaches the nature of the relationship between the system and the opposition through use of the concept of “semi-opposition.” An examination and evaluation of the opposition groups shows the extent to which the regime—in order to appear that it was opening the public sphere to the opposition—had channels of communication with the Muslim Brotherhood. The paper also shows the system’s relations with other groups, such as “Kifaya” and “April 6”; it then explains the reasons behind the success of the Muslim Brotherhood at seizing power after the ousting of President Mubarak.

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