Civil state is a matter of national security, says army chief of staff

Army Chief of Staff Sami Annan affirmed his support for the principle of Egypt as a civil state on Tuesday, saying that the principle must be enshrined in the new constitution as a matter of national security.

“We must insist on this clause,” he said during a meeting with Egyptian intellectuals, adding that he is willing to discuss the issue with all political factions.

Annan said that the military council is keen on handing over power to an elected civil authority.

“The military council acts as a representative of the people and not as an alternative to the former regime,” he said. “We have moved forward and there is no retreat."

He added: "We want to obliterate the term 'sectarian strife' from the Arabic language."

Assistant Defense Minister for Legal Affairs Mamdouh Shahin said the law on parliamentary elections would be announced at the end of this month.

“Candidacies would be equally based on proportional and individual lists,” he explained, adding that the council had discussed the new law with the Supreme Constitutional Court and other legal bodies.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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