New constitutional annex within 48 hours, says official source

Ahram Online, Sunday 17 Jun 2012

New annex to give coming president the right to appoint government but legislative power to remain in hands of ruling military council until new parliament is elected, according to source close to SCAF

Head of Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi (L) stands with Egyptian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sami Anan (Photo: Reuters)

A new constitutional annex defining the powers of Egypt's incoming president will be in place within the next 48 hours and before presidential election runoff results are officially announced Thursday, an official source close to the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) told Ahram Online.

According to the source, the annex will give the new president the power to appoint the prime minister, ministers and their deputies, state representatives at home and abroad, civil servants, military attaches and diplomats.

The new president will also have the authority to call parliamentary elections and joint sessions of the People's Assembly and Shura Council.  

The High Constitutional Court on Thursday declared the parliamentary elections law, under which the first parliament was elected, unconstitutional. The ruling resulted in the immediate dissolution of the Islamist-dominated People's Assembly. Fresh elections should take place within 60 days.

The new annex is expected to amend article 30 of the constitutional declaration, issued by the SCAF in March 2011, which would allow the coming president to take the presidential oath of office before the High Constitutional Court instead of parliament.  

The president will also be able to grant pardons.

According to the source, the SCAF will not be handing over all its powers to the elected president and will retain the legislative role until a new parliament is elected. It will also preserve the right to approve the general budget.

However, the president will have the right to promulgate laws or object to them, as was the case under the 1971 constitution.

The SCAF has been holding extensive meetings with a number of constitutional and legal experts since Thursday's court decision to dissolve parliament in order to define the role and powers of the coming president in the absence of a parliament or constitution.

The new annex will also include amendments to article 60 of the constitutional declaration, which defines the means of forming the constituent assembly that will draft the new constitution.

"The new amendments will include guarantees that the coming constitution is drafted by an assembly that represents all political and social factions in Egyptian society," the source said.

The constituent assembly, which was elected by parliament in accordance with article 60 two days before the court verdict, was automatically dissolved after the dissolution of parliament.


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