Egyptian national security affairs expert General Sameh Seif al-Yazal said the supplementary constitutional declaration, which stirred a lot of controversy owing to the powers it gives to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), was issued after a lot of deliberation with experts.
“SCAF consulted with the members of the Supreme Constitutional Court before issuing the document and suggested that legislative power goes to them,” he told Al Arabiya.
However, Seif al-Yazal added, the judges refused on the grounds that the court plays the role of the arbitrator between the different powers in the state without possessing any of them.
“They said it will be illegal for them to have legislative powers and play two opposing roles at the same time.”
Seif al-Yazal explained that the supplementary constitutional declaration was issued after the military council consulted with five prominent constitutional experts.
“It was also issued before the ballot boxes were opened and preliminary results of presidential elections were out in order to refute any allegations about the document being catered to a specific candidate.”
According to Seif al-Yazal, the military council got back its legislative powers in accordance with Article 56 of the original constitutional declaration issued on March 19, 2011.
“This does not reduce the power of the president like many say because the president will not have legislative powers anyway. Legislative powers had to go back to the military council because the parliament was dissolved and will then go to the new parliament after it is elected.”
Regarding security issues in the declaration, Seif al-Yazal said that the Armed Forces were given the right to protect national security when necessary after getting the approval of the military council.
“This article meant not to involve the president in such decision in order not to grant him absolute power and to guarantee that the armed forces will not be dragged into a confrontation with the Egyptian people.”
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)