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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
Mamdouh Shaheen
General Mamdouh Shaheen, a member of the military council (Photo: Reuters)
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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. ‎
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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.‎
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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.‎

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