Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Tuesday issued a decree appointing the first ever Coptic Christian as president of the country's Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC).
Judge Boulos Fahmy Eskandar, 65,will take over from Said Maree Mohamed Gad starting Wednesday, according to the official gazette.
Eskandar is set to take the oath before the president shortly.
Gad, 67, was sent to retirment under a presidential decree reportdely over health issues
However, an exceptional service period has been added to Gad towards retirement age of 70, according to the presidential decree.
Gad, the second oldest judge of the SCC, was appointed as the president of the court in July 2019 as per a presidential decree, succeeding Hanafy El-Gebaly, who reached his retirement age. El-Gebaly has been serving as the Speaker of Egypt's House of Representatives since January last year.
Eskandar served as the vice president of the SCC in 2010 and then as president of the Cairo Appeal Court until he was reappointed as the vice president of the SCC in 2014.
In June 2019, El-Sisi ratified amended laws passed by parliament, which regulate the appointments of heads of top judicial bodies, including the SCC.
Under the amended laws, the president has the authority to choose the head of the SCC from the five longest-serving deputy chairs for a one-time term of four years, which ends if age of retirement is reached.
The SCC is the country’s autonomous and independent judicial authority in charge of ensuring that the domestic laws and regulations are in line with the constitution.