The Armed Forces on Monday began to deploy troops in Cairo and other governorates to secure polling stations for Saturday’s constitutional referendum.
The deployment comes after President Mohamed Morsy on Sunday gave the military the authority to arrest civilians until the result of the referendum is declared. Under Morsy’s order, the military would support the police and liaise with them to protect “vital institutions.”
The decree gave army officers the right to make arrests and transfer detainees to prosecutors.
Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was quoted by state-run MENA news service as saying that the Armed Forces belong to the people, and perform their duties with integrity in order to maintain the security and stability of the homeland.
The current political and economic conditions warrant that everyone should defend the stability of the homeland so as to achieve the legitimate demands of its citizens, he continued.
Sisi added that the Egyptian people appreciate the role of the Armed Forces.