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Egypt's ruling military council speaks out - at last
SCAF announces that a new Constitutional Declaration is in the offing and gives stern warning to protesters
Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Jul 2011
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Mohsen El-Fangari
Major General Mohsen El-Fangari saluting the revolution's martyrs while delivering the Supreme Military Council's Communique no.1, February 10. (File photo)

Moments ago, and after days of conspicuous silence, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has ruled Egypt since it ousted former president Hosni Mubarak last February, has issued its first public statement since the outbreak last week of a new nationwide wave of protests over continued political and economic grievances.

Reading the statement on state television, SCAF spokesperson General Mohsen El-Fangari stressed in an emphatic tone that the council does not intend to abdicate its role in administering the country’s affairs in this transitional period.

The statement repeated some of the steps announced many times in the last few months that the ruling military council would hand political power to a civilian administration.

For example, El-Fangari said the council is still committed to a transitional plan of holding parliamentary elections, followed by the drafting of a new constitution and presidential elections at a later point in time.

However, perhaps as a gesture of goodwill towards “Constitution First” supporters in Egypt, the council announced for the first time that it intends to issue a new Constitutional Declaration in which the basic principles of the constitution, which is to be drawn by a constituent assembly picked by parliament, are set out. Also, the declaration is to lay down the criteria by which the forthcoming parliament will pick the 100-member constituent assembly, as stipulated in the first Constitutional Declaration, approved by a national referendum last month.

The ruling military council also stressed its support for Prime Minister Essam Sharaf who has been facing serious challenges in recent days from revolutionaries accusing his cabinet of doing little to meet the revolution’s goals.

While the statement affirmed that the military council is still committed to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, El-Fangari also issued a stern warning to anyone who would disrupt public order and services.

In a rebuke to those who have criticised the council’s use of military trials to prosecute civilians, El-Fangari said that the council intends to continue referring all those who violate the law to what he called “all appropriate judicial institutions.”

Finally, in a clear reference to workers and others who are demonstrating and organising sit-ins in many cities across Egypt over long-standing wage and benefit issues, El-Fangari called on all Egyptians to put the country’s overall welfare above what he described as “sectional interests.”

The military council intends to hold a press conference at 2:30pm Cairo local time (12:30 GMT).



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Me
13-07-2011 12:01pm
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Afraid to leave a Comment
Wouldn't anyone be afraid to leave a comment here? Especially if it might be considered as "disturbing the public order"? Who's to decide what "public order" is? Apparently a military court, oh, I'm sorry, "all appropriate judicial institutions"? It is this very affront, misapplication and abuse of the People's fundamental right to freedom of expression that has stagnated Egypt over 30 years, and will continue to do so into the future.
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Morad Abou-Sabe
13-07-2011 05:58am
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The Military Council's statement
Since the begining of the Revolution, I have maintaied that the Military Council had a definit conflict of interest in running the affirs of the Country post the revolution. It is not that they do not want to work, it is the fact that as part and parcile of the Old regime, they simply cannot be objective in making decisions on behalf of the Revolution. They are not part of it and must bring in a council that had no association with the Mubarak Regime, to run the transistional period in Egypt. This transitional council can and should have members representing the Armed forces, for the full representation of the country's institutions. SCAF, cannot and is not likely to change it's role, but they should recognize the inherent conflict of interest they have in their role. With that dicotomy, it is not likely that the revolutionaries demands would be met and once elections are completed there is a 90% chance that Egypt will be back to the old system of government and the 800 plus
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