Egypt Government Powers: Breakdown Of Responsibilities After Country's First Democratic Elections

What You Need To Know About Egypt's New Government

In the wake of Egypt's historic presidential elections, the distribution of power in the country remains up in the air. Just who does what, exactly?

On Sunday, June 24, Egypt declared Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi the winner of the country's first free presidential elections. Yet as Morsi took office on Monday, it remained unclear how much power the newly elected president would be able to consolidate. Only days before the final vote, Egypt's top court dissolved parliament and the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces amended the constitution, claiming much of the country's legislative and executive powers.

As the dust settles following election chaos, HuffPost examines how power is distributed in Egypt's new government.

THE PRESIDENTAccording to the constitution, the president will head the government and appoint a cabinet.

As Reuters explains, Morsi theoretically also has the power to appoint or dismiss government officials and oppose legislation proposed by the military. He can declare war, yet only with the approval of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), the ruling military generals. The president also needs SCAF's permission to call on the military to deal with domestic 'disturbances.'

Morsi reportedly has been negotiating with the generals to further define the presidential authorities.

THE CABINETThe cabinet technically holds all regular executive powers, which include enacting public policies, preparing draft legislation, and preparing a draft public budget, among others.

PARLIAMENTAccording to the constitution, parliament holds legislative powers and the authority to determine public policy, the general plan for economic and social development, and the public budget of the state. It also oversees the executive branch.

Yet on June 14, two days before the presidential runoff, judges appointed by former president Hosni Mubarak ordered the lower house of parliament to be dissolved. In response, the country's military rulers have claimed parliament's functions.

THE MILITARYIn the absence of a parliament, and according to its amendments to the current constitution, SCAF retains control of the legislative branch of government and decides on the budget until Egypt has elected a new parliament and approved a new constitution.

The amendments further state that SCAF will remain in full control of the army, despite the appointment of the president. The head of the military council will act as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and minister of defense until the adoption of a new constitution.

The previous cabinet, appointed by the generals, had also given the military the authority to arrest civilians over minor offenses such as traffic violations, but a court suspended that decision on Tuesday.

WHAT'S NEXT?It could all change soon. Egypt's constitution is up for revision and the new constitution should settle the country's power configuration. Political factions have been arguing for months over who is allowed to draft the new constitution and who will ultimately hold control.

Initially, the constitution was to be written by members of the newly elected parliament and a number of influential Egyptian figures. Yet this constitutional assembly was disbanded twice, and with the dissolving of parliament, the question of who will lay out Egypt's constitutional future is wide open again.

Additionally, the SCAF announced it had picked a 100-member panel to draft the constitution and gave itself and the courts the power to veto articles of which they disapprove.

In short, it remains unclear who will write the constitution, what it will look like, and, more importantly, who will ultimately pull the strings.

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