Egypt is not under military rule, nor is it heading towards this, the Ministry of Foreign affairs said in a Thursday statement addressing several controversial allegations about the interim government.
The ministry went on to assert that the President of the Republic, Adly Mansour, is a civilian, and added that according to the new constitution, the military would not be granted any direct or indirect political authority.
The statement premised its counterargument to these allegations by highlighting the separation between the role of the armed forces and the three branches of government using articles from the constitution as a reference.
As for the judiciary power, the ministry pointed out that constitution states in Article 204 that, “no civilian shall face trial before the military courts, except for crimes that constitute direct assault against military facilities or camps of the armed forces”.
Regarding executive power, the ministry noted, Article 139 states that “the President of the Republic is the head of State and the head of executive power. Jointly with the Cabinet, the President of the Republic shall set the State’s General Policy and oversee its implementation as stated in the Constitution.”
The statement added that the only role assigned to the armed forces in the constitution is outlined in Article 200: “to protect the country, and preserve its security and the integrity of its territories.”
Regarding legislative power, it noted, the constitution states in Article 203 that, “the House of Representatives is entrusted with the authority to enact legislations and approve the general policy of the State.”
The statement also said the role of the National Defence Council would amount to the council giving its opinion when drafting bills related to the armed forces.
The National Defence Council includes a number of civilian as well as military officials; which keeps the legislative authority in non-military matters outside the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces, and only limited say in legislations concerning the army itself.
The statement then denied that the “forces of the January 2011 revolution” are being targeted. As it explained that the revolution of January 2011 was undertaken by the Egyptian people not “engineered” or “driven” by individuals or factions, adding that those who break the Egyptian law would face legal consequences regardless of their “previous good deeds”.
Regarding Tuesday and Wednesday’s referendum on the new constitution, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied that campaigning for a No vote had been banned, asserting that the vote was “entirely free”. The ministry instead attributed the arrest of members of the Misr Al-Qawia Party to their having broken the law, adding that all of them had been released without charge, except for one individual with preexisting convictions in other cases.
The statement added that the claim that the vote may be viewed as a mandate for certain individuals or institutions to increase their power should be viewed as “an insult to the intelligence of Egyptians, who were aware that the vote was on the draft constitution” and nothing else.