Constitutional Declaration issued by armed forces

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued the new Constitutional Declaration on Wednesday, which will act as an interim constitution for the next six-month period, until a new constitution can be drafted by a newly elected parliament.

The Declaration includes 62 articles, one of which provides that certain authorities will be transferred to the newly elected parliament following the upcoming parliamentary elections slated for September.

In a news conference on Wednesday, SCAF member Maj. Gen. Mamdouh Shahin said the Declaration includes the first four articles in the 1971 Constitution, which are concerned with all state-related issues, as well as Article II, which states that Islam is the country’s official religion.

Shahin said the new Declaration also provides that certain Military Council powers concerning the creation of laws and budgetary control will be transferred to the new parliament, while the remaining powers will be transferred to the president-elect when he takes office. Shahin also explained that the Declaration includes the constitutional amendments approved by the majority of Egyptians in the referendum held on 19 March.

Shahin noted that the Declaration bans the establishment of parties based on religious grounds, prevents arrests or detentions without legal basis and ensures freedom of the press as well as freedom of belief and opinion.

The Declaration ensures that that 50 percent of the parliament — which sits for a five-year term — consist of workers and farmers and that the Shura Council authorities will be very limited, said Shahin. He added that during the six-month period, the Council of Ministers will share in the decision-making process with the SCAF.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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