Egypt’s military council partially responds to opposition demands

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has responded in part to the demands of political powers with regards to parliamentary laws, state news agency MENA said on Saturday.

The SCAF has decided to amend draft parliamentary laws so that two thirds of candidates are elected through the list-based candidacy system and a third through the single-winner system.

Political powers held lengthy discussions with representatives from the SCAF last week and asked for the exclusive use of the list-based candidacy system.

MENA also cited the head of the SCAF, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, as saying that the Egyptian army is not a party in the political conflict and is not interested in the implementation of a particular parliamentary system, nor has it a bias towards certain political powers.

The army will only be in power for a transitional period until power is handed over to a civilian authority through a sound democratic process, he said.

Political powers threatened to boycott the elections if the SCAF insisted on using a half-half mix of the list-based and the single winner systems. They said this would help former National Democratic Party members form a bloc within parliament through their financial power and clan relations.

MENA also said the SCAF will ask the government to amend the law on electoral constituencies.

Parliamentary laws are expected to be finalized this week.

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