Egypt's Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the country's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, has renewed the military's commitment to hand over power to a civilian authority on July 1.
As part of its sweeping constitutional changes, Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or SCAF, has formed a new National Defense Council. Although it is not entirely clear what this council will do, it "does not have a precedent in recent Egyptian political history," according to Egypt's Ahram.
The creation of the council was buried in the latest amendments to the military's March 2011 Constitutional Declaration. Unlike the new constitutional articles, which the Muslim Brotherhood and secular activists alike believe give the SCAF uncontested power, the National Defense Council was worryingly absent from the military's announcement in the official state press.
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"Though the council's mandate was not specified, it appears to be another step to limit the role of the president and enshrine the role of the military as the highest authority over national security policy," reports the Associated Press.
The National Defense Council will be made up of 11 senior military officials, as well as the new president -- presumably Muhammad Mursi -- the head of the cabinet and the future foreign minister.
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