AFRICA/EGYPT - Tension for new powers adopted by the military

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) – The situation in Egypt is tense, where the wait for the official announcement of the presidential ballot results is intertwined with the news concerning former President Hosni Mubarak’s health, sentenced to life imprisonment for killing demonstrators during the riots last year. The former President is in a coma in hospital, while news and denials about his death follow.
In Tahrir Square tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered to protest against the amendments introduced by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to the Constitutional Declaration of March 2011 (transitional provision enacted after Mubarak’s resignation), which expands the powers of the military in the legislative and financial field.
The SCAF has also given back to the military police the power to arrest civilians and re-established the National Defense Council (a body with powers which gathers in case of an emergency).
The candidate close to the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Morsy, claims to have won the second round of presidential elections, beating Ahmed Shafik, considered an expression of the military, bureaucracy and business linked to Mubarak’s regime.
The dissolution of Parliament decreed by the Constitutional Court and the lack of definition of presidential powers fuel the fear in Islamic forces and even in the liberal groups that started the revolt in 2011, that the military brass is preparing to perpetrate an institutional coup, emptying the powers of the bodies voted democratically.
The Constitutional Declaration of March 2011 provides that SCAF holds the legislative power, even after the election of the President until the election of a new Parliament. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 20/6/2012)