Middle East

Egypt military to oversee laws, budget: army

CAIRO: Egypt's ruling military council is to stay in control of legislation and the budget in the absence of a parliament, even as the country prepares to announce a new president, military sources told AFP Sunday.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took power when president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in an uprising last year, is set to issue an amended constitutional declaration, consolidating its powers just hours before Egypt wraps up a divisive presidential election to pick Mubarak's successor.

Military sources say article 56 of the declaration will be amended to give legislative powers and state budget to the SCAF, following a ruling by Egypt's top court that the Islamist-led parliament is invalid.

The SCAF had in January handed legislative power to parliament.

The SCAF will also issue new rules under article 60 for the formation of the constituent assembly that is to draft the country's permanent constitution. A new panel was recently picked by the house to do so following its earlier dissolution amid accusations of an Islamist monopoly.

Article 30 of the declaration will also be amended to say that the new president will be sworn in before the Supreme Constitutional Court instead of by the lower house of parliament.

Egyptians were voting on Sunday in the final day of a presidential election pitting Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Shafiq against Mohammed Mursi of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood.





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