Egypt's interim president orders formation of military council

Photo: Egypt's interim president orders formation of military council / Arab World

Egyptian interim president Adli Mansour ordered formation of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in accordance with the new constitution, official MENA news agency reported Thursday.

The interim president ordered formation of the SCAF "with the defense minister as its leader," according to the text of the official decree, Xinhua reported.

According to constitutional expert, the step is meant to officially announce the SCAF formation in accordance with the new constitution.

The recently approved constitution says that "the head of the republic is the supreme leader of the armed forces." It also states that the armed forces must have a supreme council regulated by the law.

Mansour's decree states that "the president can invite the SCAF to convene whenever necessary and the president chairs the SCAF meeting when it is held in his presence."

The presidential decree comes while newly-appointed interim prime minister Ibrahim Mahlab is in the process of forming a new government ahead of the presidential polls slated for mid-April.

It comes also amid expectations that military chief Abdel- Fattah al-Sisi, the defense minister of the outgoing government, may run for the country's upcoming presidential elections.

Some experts said that Sisi will be included in Mahlab's government as defense minister and SCAF leader and will resign later to officially announce his presidential bid.

Others believe that Sisi will be excluded from the coming government and he will just announce joining the presidential race when the presidential election law is established within the coming few days.

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