Katatny reiterated that Brotherhood legislators intend to attend a scheduled session of parliament Tuesday, a move that could provoke a confrontation between the Islamist lawmakers and security forces. Other prominent politicians called on Egyptians to resist the military’s actions. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a former Brotherhood member who was a presidential candidate in the first round of voting, called the constitutional declaration a “full military coup” in a message on Twitter. – Washington Post
THE FIRST ISLAMIST victory, which was declared by the Muslim Brotherhood earlier on Monday, slipped away in Egypt, though Mohammed Morsi declared it anyway. Shafiq versus Morsi ended with Egypt’s military the winner. So, how much winning the presidency matters, considering the military, SCAF, is in complete control, is in question. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, SCAF, cemented their power through a constitutional decree that neuters the presidency, which came not so coincidentally as the Muslim Brotherhood was on the cusp of winning.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Egypt’s military rulers, added to the confusion on Sunday night, when they released their long-awaited “constitutional annex”, a decree outlining the powers of the new president.
Those powers are quite limited: He may declare war, for example, only after seeking SCAF’s approval. The decree also reminds the president that he can call on the military to quell “unrest” inside the country.
SCAF dissolved parliament last week following a ruling by the supreme court, which found the legislature unconstitutional. The court ruled that provisions of the electoral law – which allowed political parties to compete for seats reserved for independent candidates – violated the constitution.
With the legislature gone, the generals reasserted control over the legislative process, and over the country’s budget.
“The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces shall exercise the powers referred to under the first clause of article 56 [the article on legislative power]… until the election of a new People’s Assembly,” the decree states.
“In freezing the SCAF’s current membership in place and giving it such sweeping powers, the provisions really do constitutionalize a military coup,” Nathan Brown, a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, said in an e-mail.
After dissolving the Brotherhood-led Parliament elected four months ago, and locking out its lawmakers, the generals on Sunday night also seized control of the process of writing a permanent constitution. State news media reported that the generals had picked a 100-member panel to draft it.
“The new constitutional declaration completed Egypt’s official transformation into a military dictatorship,” Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, wrote in an online commentary. Under the military’s charter, the president appeared to be reduced to a powerless figurehead.
Egypt continues on a collision course, so at some point there has to be a come to Mohammed moment between the people, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian military. The Brotherhood has made deals with SCAF before. But this time feels a lot different, not the least of which is how SCAF expanded their own role, which is going to be challenged eventually. It could come as early as tomorrow.