Crunch Time for Egypt's Civil Miltary Relations
President Morsi’s sudden ouster of the first ranks of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) seems to have settled the power struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the military in the formers’favour. Since the fall of Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011, executive authority in Egypt was firmly in the hands of the SCAF. While many Egyptians initially perceived the military as the protector of the revolution, over the past 18 months, SCAF’s monopolisation of power during Egypt’s transition escalated the perception that the military intends to retain control of the government. SCAF maintained certain constitutional and legal powers to ensure that its role in Egypt’s transition would not end by declaring the new elected president. By removing SCAF’s key oldguard and appointing new military leaders loyal to him, President Morsi has finally been able to reassert his presidential powers over the military and state institutions. Reform efforts to preclude the politicisation of the armed forces and enhance civilian oversight of the military continue to be one of the transition’s greatest challenges. Now that Morsi’s government bears full executive power, the MB for the first time has the opportunity to reform Egypt’s power structures towards democratic civilian rule–if it wants to.