SCAF takes more powers
Following the dissolution of Parliament last week the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) announced that it had taken new powers yesterday in a decree known as the Complementary Constitutional Declaration.
The declaration means that the 20 man SCAF headed by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi will take control of the budget, holds legislative powers, write a new constitution and have absolute authority to run the affairs of the armed forces.
Early results from the presidential election held this weekend appear to give the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi 52% of the vote against the military’s preferred candidate and former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq on 48%.
The new declaration, which also re-introduced a 16 member National Defence Council, means that there is no chance of the military handing over powers to the president and parliament by the end of June.
The official results of the presidential election will be known on 21st June and the new president will be sworn in on 30th June in front of the constitutional court rather than the People’s Assembly as should have happened.
A spokesperson for SCAF said that the new president would still have the powers to appoint a Cabinet but it is clear that the control will be with the military.
In other news the Constituent Assembly elected Hossam al-Gheriany the president of the Constituent Assembly. He is the head of the Supreme Judicial Court and the Court of Cassation. The body will still be allowed to carry on its work of putting together a new constitution but the new head warned that they needed to complete their work within three months.
With the need for new parliamentary elections, a new constitution and a president effectively powerless it does look very much as though Egypt has gone back to square one. Many people in Egypt are describing it as a coup by the military and large crowds were already starting to gather in Tahrir Square last night as protests grow over the moves by SCAF.