CAIRO — Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has decreed an interim constitutional declaration following the dissolution of parliament by a court ruling. The document, published in the official gazette late Sunday, defines the authorities of the nation's next president and the authorities of the ruling military.
The following are key elements of the declaration:
_The next president takes his oath of office before the Supreme Constitutional Court because parliament is dissolved.
_The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is the authority that decides on all affairs of the armed forces, appointing its commanders and extending their service. Until a new constitution is adopted, the chairman of the council (Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi) has the authorities of the commander of the armed forces and the defense minister.
_The president can declare war after the approval of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
_In the case of domestic unrest that requires the intervention of the armed forces, the president can request the participation of the armed forces to safeguard security and protect the state's vital installations but only after the approval of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
_The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has legislative powers until a new parliament is elected and functioning.
_If the constituent assembly is unable to complete its work for whatever reason, the Supreme Council of the Armed forces will within a week form a new constituent assembly – that represents all segments of society – to draft a new constitution within three months from the date of its inception. The draft constitution will be voted on in a nationwide referendum within 15 days of completion. Steps leading to parliamentary elections should start a month after the ratification of the new constitution in the referendum.
_If the president, the chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed forces, the Supreme Judicial Council or a fifth of the members of the constituent assembly see that the draft constitution includes a clause that clashes with the basic principles and goals of the revolution or with previous Egyptian constitutions, any of those bodies can ask the assembly to review the clauses in question within 15 days. If the assembly sticks by its draft, any of those bodies can take the matter to the Supreme Constitutional Court, which should rule on the matter within seven days.