Presidential candidate says constitution should give wide powers to the military

Presidential candidate Hisham al-Bastawisy has sent the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces a memorandum in which he expressed his views regarding the next presidential elections and supra-constitutional principles.

In his memorandum, al-Bastawisy said the army’s mission is to protect the country and the supra-constitutional principles.

Although the 1971 Constitution did not grant the military specific powers, Egypt's presidents were all military officers, a fact that ensured the military a key place in national political affairs.

Bastawisy proposed the formation of a National Defense Council, comprised of the president, the commander of the armed forces and the armed forces chief of staff, and empowered to review the military’s budget.

He also suggested that the military budget should be stated as a total figure in the state budget, and that the armed forces should be consulted before issuing legislation concerning military affairs.

He said that the military courts should have the sole right to try military crimes, and that the president, in his capacity as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, may task the army with missions outside the borders of the country, dependent on the approval of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the National Defense Council and parliament.

As for supra-constitutional principles, Bastawisy suggested ten principles pertaining to the protection of human rights, respect of international treaties, revision of unfair agreements previously signed by Egypt, guarantees of citizens’ dignity at home and abroad, achievement of social justice, improvement of education and scientific research, independence of the judiciary and the universities, and guarantees of minority rights.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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