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Egypt: President Issues New Constitutional Declaration

(Aug. 15, 2012) On August 12, 2012, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi issued a new constitutional declaration, repealing the June 2012 Declaration issued by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) that had effectively stripped the legislature and the executive of some of their powers while concentrating these powers in the hands of SCAF.

Article 2 of the new constitutional declaration grants the President all the executive and legislative powers previously held by SCAF, as had been stipulated in articles 56 and 53 of the June 2012 declaration. For example, article 56 granted SCAF the authority to issue legislation until a new Parliament is elected. Under the same article, SCAF also had the power to approve the military's budget without obtaining parliamentary approval. Article 53 of the previous constitutional declaration prevented the President from declaring war without the approval of SCAF.

Article 3 of the new declaration authorizes the President to create a Constituent Assembly if the current Assembly is abolished or prohibited from carrying out its responsibilities.

Finally, the same article also states that after the Constitution is drafted by the Constituent Assembly, the President will put the document to a referendum within 30 days. Moreover, parliamentary elections will be held within 60 days of the public's approval of the new Constitution. (Morsi Repeals the Complementary Constitutional Declaration [in Arabic], Al DOSTOR AL ASLY (Aug. 12, 2012).)