By Youssef El Beshlawy
Prime Minister Hazem Al-Beblawi denied the imminence of an emergency state in a Monday press conference.
“The delegation [of powers] has nothing to do with the declaration of [an] emergency state. The latter requires exceptional situations and procedures,” said El-Beblawi, adding this “delegation is part of ordinary administrative procedures. Emergency law has no value until emergency state is declared”. He clarified that delegations decided by interim president Adly Mansour include delegations in 25 other fields in addition to the emergency law.
He said such delegations come as “a response to several demands and to what came in the constitutional declaration,” according to which the president must give some of his competences to the Prime Minister and to the ministers.
On Sunday, Mansour delegated three of his emergency law competences to El-Beblawi, in republican decision n⁰496 of year 2013.
Ahmed El-Moslimany, the interim president’s media advisor, reiterated in a press conference at Itihadiya Palace: “There is no intention of declaring emergency state.” He added: “The competences delegated are among many others delegated from President to Prime minister and fulfil the President’s promise to broadly empower the Prime Minister in the frame of a civil state.”
The delegation includes the powers granted by articles 4, 15 and 16 of emergency law n⁰162 of year 1958, which govern execution of orders emanating from the president, the authority to cancel a court verdict and the workings of the court of appeals.
In a Sunday statement to state-owned Al-Ahram, Ali Awad Saleh, presidential advisor for constitutional issues, emphasised that the three powers delegated to El-Beblawi are related to administrative decisions and specialities and do not mean the declaration of emergency state.
“Some people misunderstood Mansour’s delegation to El-Beblawi and interpreted it as announcing an impending declaration of emergency state. I will clarify the three articles tomorrow,” said Saleh.
Ibrahim Darwish, constitutional expert and professor of constitutional law and constitutional review at Cairo University, said: “Adly Mansour wants to shed responsibilities. Nevertheless, authority is for the position holder. Even if Mansour delegated these competences to El-Beblawi, he remains responsible of this latter’s acts.”
Constitutional expert Tharwat Badawy said Mansour “has no revolutionary legitimacy” because he was part of the Supreme Constitutional Court which “is part of the regime the people revolted against”; the delegation ”is void.”
“These articles do not exist right now in reality. They only exist when emergency state is declared. The delegation has no real content.”