Crunch Time for Egypt's Civil Miltary Relations

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GR:EEN Policy Brief 1
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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.