Armed Forces announces Egypt's interim Constitution
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces ratifies and spells out constitutional reforms
Sherif Tarek, Wednesday 30 Mar 2011
General Mamdouh Shaheen, a member of the military council (Photo: Reuters)
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced Wednesday Egypt's decree constitution, according to which the council will remain in power with full authorities untill the upcoming presidential elections.
Major General Mamduh Shahin told a press conference that the new constitution consists of 62 articles, only nine of which were endorsed in a referendum on 19 March.
It was also revealed that the presidential elections will be held 'within a month or two' of the parliamentary poll in September.
The constitutional reform granted the ruling military council full presidential authorities, including invalidating enacted laws, introducing new legislations and representing the country internationally.
Article 2 of the suspended constitution remains unchanged, with Islamic sharia the source of legislation.
The emergency law remains in place, though it should be lifted ahead of the parliamentary elections.
According to the reformed constitution, Parliament would be entitled to impose emergency law for another six months after elections. However, to extend it any further would be decided by a referendum.
Article 76 of the old constitution was cancelled. It had imposed draconian restrictions that inhibited the vast majority of partisan and independent individuals from contesting presidential elections.
Article 77, which empowered the president to indefinitely run for presidency, was also omitted.
The new Constitution stipulates that the president’s tenure is four years and will be extended to eight should he be re-elected.
Moreover, the direct judicial supervision of elections was restored. The Supreme Electoral Commission was responsible for overseeing elections in accordance to Article 88 of the old constitution.
Parliament and the Upper House should form a founding commission to write a new constitution after parliamentary elections.
Under the supervision of the Supreme Judicial Commission, a referendum was conducted on 19 March, with over 14 million of the 18 million cast votes in favour of nine constitutional amendments.