The Supreme Council of Armed Forces has repeatedly promised it will hand over power to civilians by 30 June 2012 over the past few days, but after dissolving parliament and releasing a new constitutional declaration, it seems that SCAF is staying for longer.
After Egyptians forced former President Hosni Mubarak to step down in February 2011, SCAF assumed power and promised to hand over power to civilians within six months. That deadline was shortly adjusted after SCAF released the 30 March 2011 Constitutional Declaration as a result of a popular referendum.
The timeline set by the declaration included parliamentary elections in July and presidential elections by December, extending SCAF’s stay for a year. However, SCAF postponed parliamentary elections to late November, saying political parties had asked for more time to campaign.
The military council declared its intention to have the constitution written before calling for elections, which would have extended presidential elections to April 2013. However, after violent protests and clashes broke out in Tahrir Square and Mohamed Mahmoud Street in November, SCAF announced it would hand over power to the elected president by 30 June 2012.
Everything seemed to be going well, with presidential elections starting on 23 May and the runoff round set for 17 June. With the results are scheduled for 21 June it looked like SCAF would make their deadline.
However, then came the Supreme Constitutional Court’s ruling that the parliamentary elections law was unconstitutional and based on that SCAF dissolved the People’s Assembly.
SCAF next released a new constitutional deceleration where they reassumed legislative power until a new parliament is elected. The declaration also specified that there can be no parliamentary elections without a new constitution.
The constitution, which is likely to be written by Constituent Assembly appointed by SCAF, has to be finished within three months of the assembly’s appointment. However, SCAF has the power to veto any of its clauses, potentially delaying a referendum on the constitution which is to take place 15 days after the assembly of the draft.
Only then can parliamentary elections be called for. The 2011/2012 parliamentary elections took two months and it is expected the new ones would take as much. Assuming the roadmap does not change yet again, Egyptians can expect SCAF to remain in until at least January 2013.