Military retain 8-year veto over defence minister in Egypt's constitution
Ahram Online, Wednesday 20 Nov 2013
The drafting committee has included an article stipulating that the defence minister must be approved by the supreme military council; president can remove defence ministers

Egypt's new constitution will stipulate that the defence minister must be a member of the military and must be appointed with the approval of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Article 174, a temporary article, states that, for the next eight years, the defence minister is to be appointed by the president from the ranks of the armed forces, with his choice subject to the military council's approval.

The article also stipulates that the president retains the right to remove the defence minister from office.

The status of the armed forces in a new constitution has been the topic of heated debate inside the 50-member committee.

Egypt's army has denied exerting any pressure of the committee for preferential treatment.

The committee has been assigned with amending the 2012 constitution which was drafted under former president Morsi.

The 2012 constitution was suspended following Morsi's ouster in July, as part of a political roadmap adopted by the interim authorities.

The panel is to present a final draft on 3 December to the president. It will be put to national referendum following his approval.