Cairo: Egyptian military rulers have planned to demand that the country`s next constitution must safeguard its political power and independence, an adviser to the ruling generals has revealed.
The military’s demand is the latest sign that they are reluctant to give in to pressure to immediately yield full control to a new civilian leadership.
General Sameh Seif al Yazal, who consults regularly with the Supreme Council of armed Forces that rules Egypt, said the council will ask that the constitution protect the military budget from public scrutiny and require the civilian president to get the assent of military leaders before waging war, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The safeguards that General Yazal said would be sought by the SCAF would, for the first time, formalize the military`s long-elevated position after the SCAF steps down as head of state.
According to the paper, the military’s demand that its budget be protected from public scrutiny will allow it more freedom in continuing its commercial enterprises, which include olive oil factories, spring water bottlers, commercial-vehicle assembly and weapons manufacturing.
Some estimates say the military claims as much as a third of Egypt`s economic production, but the true size of the military`s commercial wealth remains unreported.
The paper quoted General Yazal, as saying that the proposed constitutional provision would open part of the military`s budget to a parliamentary security council.
“Government expenditure on the military would be listed in budget bills as a single line-item without details,” he added.
Meanwhile, Michael Hanna, an Egypt expert and a fellow at the New York-based Century Foundation said polls have revealed that the military`s image has been sullied by a chaotic transition to democratic rule, but it still remains the most trusted power in the country.
According to Hanna, that makes this a good time for the army to press its demands.