Egypt president gives military near absolute power

Egypt president gives military near absolute power
Thu Feb 27, 2014 23:28:08

Egypt’s military-installed Interim President Adly Mansour has issued a presidential decree reconstituting that the country’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) be led by the military chief rather than the president for the first time in Egypt's history.

According to the new decree, reported by Al-Ahram’s Arabic News website on Thursday, the SCAF's new structure will see its members comprised of 23 top military generals from the army, navy, air force, air defense as well as the head of military intelligence.

This is the first time in Egypt's history, the report says, that the SCAF will not be headed by the president, giving the all-powerful military even greater autonomy in ruling the nation than civil authorities.

The new constitution, passed in January, includes a transitional article which gives the president the right to appoint the defense minister but also gives the SCAF the right to approve of its leader for eight years.

The defense minister decides which of his aides could also become council members.

Egypt’s military chief Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is currently the country’s defense minister and was widely believed to run and capture the nation’s next presidency.

It is not yet clear whether al-Sisi would still follow up with his controversial presidential ambitions with the newly-constituted powers granted to the country’s brutal military establishment.

According to the report, the nation’s defense minister invites the council for a regular meeting every three months and whenever urgently needed. In case of a national threat or war, the council is considered in a continuous meeting.

Egypt was officially ruled by a council of military generals for a nearly 17 months following the country’s 2011 revolution that led to the ouster of its longtime US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak and before the 2012 presidential elections that brought the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi to power.


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