Egypt’s constitution-drafting committee has agreed to an article that grants immunity to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
According to a draft published in Egypt’s state media on Thursday, the new constitution would grant more powers to the SCAF and could ban Islamic parties completely.
The 50-member assembly is scheduled to finish the draft of the constitution this week. The constitution will then be put to a referendum in December.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the army chief and minister of defense, had been seeking immunity for the military council for a period of five to ten years.
It has also been leaked that he asked for a media campaign to lobby for a specific clause to be included in the constitution.
The clause would allow Sisi to retain his post as defense minister in the event he loses in the presidential election.
The military representatives of the committee also called for the constitution to allow the military to name the defense minister during the next two presidential terms.
The move has been widely criticized by legal experts, who say this would give the military more power than the president.
Egypt has been experiencing unrelenting violence since July 3, when the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s government, suspended the constitution, and dissolved the parliament. It also appointed the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mahmoud Mansour, as the new interim president.
The government of Mansour has launched a bloody crackdown on Morsi supporters and arrested more than 2,000 Muslim Brotherhood members, including the party’s leader, Mohamed Badie, who was detained on August 20.
About 1,000 people were killed in a week of violence between Morsi supporters and security forces after police dispersed their protest camps in a deadly operation on August 14.
The massacre sparked international condemnation and prompted world bodies to call for an independent investigation into the violence.