Egypt military affirms its role over charter
CAIRO - Agence France-Presse
Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi is seen in this file photo. REUTERS photoEgypt’s ruling military sought to affirm parliament’s role in drafting the country’s constitution, after Islamists set to win legislative elections accused the army of sidelining the chamber. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces had angered the powerful Muslim Brotherhood by declaring the army would have the final say over those tasked with writing the constitution, appointing an “advisory council” to set the criteria. “
The advisory council will give opinions and advice regarding issues and events of the country... to create a link between the military council and the political forces during this critical phase in the history of Egypt,” said its Facebook page. The Council stressed “the advisory council is not a substitute for the people’s assembly or any other elected body, and its role will end when a president is elected” next year. The statement comes after a spat between the ruling military council -- which took power after former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted by a popular uprising -- and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).
Major General Mukhtar al-Mulla, a member of the military council, said last week that the advisory body would have a role in drafting the next constitution. But the comments were slammed by the FJP as army interference in parliament. “We have a parliament that will be elected within a month, and the panel that will write the constitution should be chosen by parliament,” senior Brotherhood leader Mohammed al-Beltagui told Agence France-Presse on Dec. 11. The next parliament is likely to be dominated by the FJP, which won 36 percent of votes in the first of three rounds of elections, followed by the ultra-conservative Salafist Al-Nour party with at least 24 percent of the vote.