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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Egypt’s military will be limited in the new Constitution


Waheed Abdel-Meguid, the official spokesperson of Egypt's Consituent Assembly
According to Provisional Constitution declared after Egypt’s 1971 Constitution was cancelled and to Constitutional Addendum issued by SCAF in July 2012, Egypt’s Armed Forces should be independent, the civil governmental bodies cannot interfere its issues. The military budget is independent too and to be discussed in parliament during the closed sessions. So SCAF would be able to grant itself the wide powers and independence in the new country’s Constitution.

But Egypt’s Constituent Assembly, the special body tasked with drafting and writing the new Constitution, is unlikely to leave all the SCAF’s powers that unlimited as it was declared before. According to Waheed Abdel-Meguid, the official spokesperson of Egypt’s Constituent Assembly, SCAF’s powers will be limited in the next Constitution, so the Military Council would be given rather partially than the full and absolute independence from the governing bodies.
General Mamdouh Shaheen, one of the SCAF members

The military constitutional authorities would be discussed at the upcoming meetings of the Constituent Assembly by its national security sub-committee (Constituent Assembly consists of the sub-committees, and each of them is tasked with the drafting of the special parts of Egypt’s next Constitution and discussing related issues). The date is not provided yet. One of the leading members of Egypt’s SCAF (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) General Mamdouh Shaheen is expected to attend the meeting and will observe all the constitutional articles related to the Armed Forces, military budget and other military issues.
Waheed Abdel-Meguid stated that under the new Egyptian Constitution the powers and abilities of SCAF will be limited, and the Armed forces will have only the partial independence from the other branches of state’s government. The Head of the Ministry of Defense will remain military man, and as for the question of the military budget it would rather remain also independent, but there was a trend in the Constituent Assembly to make the Council of National Defense responsible for the issues related to the Armed forces budget, and this Council should be comprised of the military and civil members.

It is also worth mentioning that Al-Azhar will be granted the independent status in the new 
Constitution too, and there is an attempt to create the whole chapter dedicated to Al-Azhar and its relationships with the state.

It was also denied that some of the articles of the new Constitution are already finalized, as there are ongoing discussions about them, and at the beginning of August the Constituent Assembly has to present the proposals made for the constitutional articles.