Egyptian Military Council Warns New Islamist President

July 9, 2012  

Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has reminded the president-elect, Mohamed Mursi, of its own powerful position in the country.

The military issued a statement saying it expects all state institutions to respect the constitution – a barely-disguised warning to the newly-elected Muslim Brotherhood member.

The move followed a decision by Mursi to revoke the military council’s executive order which last month dissolved the Islamist-majority parliament. The dissolution had been backed by a June 14 Supreme Court ruling that said a third of the legislators were elected illegally.

On Monday, Egypt’s highest court said that its rulings are binding for all state institutions, after Mursi decided to reconvene the dissolved parliament.

The decisions came one week after a meeting and photo ops between the president-elect and Egypt’s SCAF council of generals, headed by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.

In its warning, the military council defended the decree in which it had declared for itself sweeping new powers.

The “constitutional declaration” stated that the SCAF retains the power to make laws and budget decisions for Egypt until a new Constitution can be written – a task to be accomplished by summer’s end – and until a new parliament can be elected. The Council also retained for itself the power to “decide all matters related to military affairs, including the appointment of its leaders.”

In its warning to Mursi, the Council said it would continue to support “legitimacy, the constitution and the law” – making it unlikely the generals would allow the new president any room to reconvene the current Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament.

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