Wahid Abdel-Meguid, official spokesman for Egypt’s Constituent Assembly (tasked with drafting a new constitution), said on Thursday that the military’s constitutional authorities would be discussed at an upcoming meeting of the assembly’s national security sub-committee. He did not provide a date, however, for the scheduled meeting.
General Mamdouh Shaheen, member of Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), is expected to attend the meeting as the SCAF’s representative to observe all constitutional articles related to the military.
According to Abdel-Meguid, the SCAF’s authorities will be curtailed under the new constitution, which will give the military council partial – rather than absolute – independence from other branches of government.
Regarding the military budget, Abdel-Meguid confirmed that there was a trend inside the national security sub-committee that wanted to make the military budget the responsibility of a Council of National Defence, to be comprised of both military and civilian members.
Abdel-Meguid also pointed out that Egypt’s Al-Azhar religious institution should also be made fully independent. He said that a full chapter of the new constitution would be devoted exclusively to Al-Azhar and the latter’s relationship vis-a-vis the state.
He went on to deny that five articles of the new constitution had already been finalised, stressing that the Constituent Assembly had until 3 August to make proposals for new constitutional articles.