Panel opposes political role for Egyptian military

By Hamza Hendawi

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, July 20 2011 6:45 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this May 3, 2011 file photo, head of the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, left, walks with Qatari Emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, center, as he inspects the honor guard during a visit to Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's ruling generals are seeking to enshrine a future role for themselves with considerable independence from civilian leaders and possibly an authority to intervene in politics.

Khaled El Fiqi, Pool, Associated Press

CAIRO — A key member of a panel drafting guidelines for Egypt's next constitution says most of the group's 50 members object to giving the military a future role in politics.

Legal expert Tahany el-Gibali said Wednesday that the principles will have enough guarantees to protect all Egyptians while also safeguarding the civilian character of the state.

Egypt's ruling generals are trying to enshrine a future role for themselves, possibly with the authority to intervene in politics.

The push appears to be driven by the military's fear of losing the near-autonomous power it has enjoyed for nearly 60 years.

A body of generals has been leading the country since an 18-day wave of protests ousted longtime leader Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11.

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