Egypt’s military rulers have indicated a desire to control the constitution-writing process, likely because they want to keep a new civilian government from asserting control over the military and curtailing the power and privilege the institution currently holds. Since the coup led by Army officers that overthrew Egypt’s king in 1952, the military has held an important place in Egypt’s power structure.
Last year the military council released to political parties a proposed draft of constitutional principles which would have shielded the military’s budget from civilian oversight and given the military a say in choosing the constituent assembly. The military council abandoned the document after a massive protest, but in an interview with foreign journalists in December, SCAF Maj. Gen. Mukhtar El Mullah made clear that the council intends to have a role in selecting the members of the assembly.
General Mullah also had an opinion on what should change in the constitution itself – very little. “A lot of legislators say that we have a very good constitution, a very unique one, except for Article 5 which is concerning the presidential elections. So we will only amend this chapter,” he said in the briefing.