MP Essam Sultan on Tuesday morning requested the presence of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), in the People's Assembly – the lower house of Parliament – in order to take a public oath to “respect the constitution and the law.”
Sultan said his request comes in line with the constitutional declaration issued by the SCAF following last year’s revolution and approved via popular referendum.
Article 30 of the constitutional declaration calls on Egypt’s president to take the following oath: “I swear to God that I will faithfully preserve the republican order; that I will respect the constitution and the law and comprehensively look after the interests of the people; and that I will preserve the independence of the nation and the safety of its land.”
As head of the SCAF, which has wielded executive authority since the former president’s ouster, Tantawi represents Egypt’s de facto president.
Sultan’s call came after the state press on Monday evening published the text of a new political Disfranchisement Law, officially endorsed by the SCAF earlier the same day. The law, which prohibits individuals who had occupied top posts under the former regime within the last decade from contesting national elections for a five-year period, was debated and approved last week by the People's Assembly.
The new legislation comes only two days before Egypt’s Supreme Presidential Elections Commission (SPEC) is due to issue its final list of approved presidential candidates on 26 April, and could lead to the disqualification of Mubarak-era aviation minister Ahmed Shafiq from the race.
The law will not, however, apply to presidential hopeful Amr Moussa, who left his post as Mubarak’s foreign minister in 2001.
The SPEC has announced plans to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss implementation of the new law, a draft of which was first proposed by Sultan on 10 April.