Late on Monday evening the Supreme Council of Armed Forces delivered three statements containing decrees that delineate the scope of their authority following the handover of power to the President. At the time of printing they had not yet been published in the official state papers.
Chief among the new articles is the creation of the National Defense Council, whose decisions are the ultimate authority in defense, security and the national budget. No single member including the President will have the power to make decisions on defense or security without a majority approval from the council.
The principle aspect of the decree is the way in which it unambiguously cements the domination of the military over defense affairs, and incorporates within the scope of its work domestic security. This and other recent moves by SCAF place beyond question the ability of the military to operate with or without the consent of the president, in both internal and foreign affairs. Because of the council’s makeup, if the 10 members of the armed forces vote as a bloc they will be able to legislate over the wishes of the president.
In its meetings the council will make decisions by simple majority and may not make decisions without the presence of a majority of members. The Council can invite to the meetings anyone they see fit to assist or advise in decision-making from the deputies of cabinets of the government or from the ministries themselves. Other participants may observe but they will have not have the ability to vote. This latest decree supersedes a similar council formed by President Anwar Sadat in 1977.
Finally, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces confirms the dissolution of the People’s Assembly. These decree are in addition to the Constitutional Declaration which further delineates the authority of the Armed Forces even after the handover of power to the President in regards to the creation.