Egypt Independent

Military official: PM not authorized to replace ministers

Egypt's Interim Constitution does not entitle the current prime minister to appoint ministers or accept their resignations, an Egyptian military source said on Saturday.

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has the sole authority in that respect, said Major General Hassan al-Ruweiny, the head of the central command of Egypt's armed forces.

Ruweiny's statements follow discussions conducted by Prime Minister Essam Sharaf regarding a potential ministerial reshuffle, which came in response to week-old protests demanding a new government.

Egypt's young revolutionaries believe the military council does not provide Sharaf with the necessary authority to change ministers. They argue that the council earlier rejected the replacement of specific figures.

State-run television quoted statements by Ruweiny to DreamTV, a private satellite channel, in which he said that the Egyptian cabinet acts within the power limits accorded by the Interim Constitution.

Ruweiny denied that the military council intervened in government work, saying the military does not represent the people in the revolution, but rather acts as a partner.

He rejected claims that the current government has the same policies as Hosni Mubarak, the former president. He said that military intervention in government would support people's interests.

Commenting on prosecutions of officers and officials accused of murdering protesters during the January uprising, the official said the military council never interfered in judicial work nor ordered the trials of any killers of protesters to be halted.

Ruweiny voiced frustration with demonstrators' demands to “purge the judiciary,” and instead suggested “reforming the judiciary”.