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Egypt: Supreme Council of Armed Forces Issues a New Supplementary Constitutional Declaration

(June 25, 2012) On June 16, 2012, Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued a supplementary constitutional declaration amending provisions of the constitutional declaration of 2011. The supplementary declaration amends articles 30, 53, 53/1, 53/2, 56 B, 60 B, and 60 B (1). (Provisions of the Supplementary Constitutional Declaration [in Arabic], EL WATAN NEWSPAPER (June 16, 2012).)

The amended provisions concern the role of the President and the powers of SCAF. To illustrate the scope of the new provisions, under article 53, the President has the authority to appoint the Minister of Defense and commanders of the main branches of the Armed Forces. Article 53/1 limits the powers of the President to declare war. Article 53/2 grants SCAF the right to deploy military personnel in civilian areas to maintain security in the event of internal turmoil. Article 56 B allows SCAF to retain legislative powers in the event of the dissolution of the parliament. Finally, SCAF, under article 60 B, has the right to establish a new constitutional assembly. (Id.)

The most recently elected President was supposed to take the oath of office in the presence of the Parliament. However, under amended article 30, the new President will be taking the oath of office before the Supreme Constitutional Court, because the Parliament was dissolved by that court on June 13, 2012. (Id.)