Generals slated - 'Egypt's army wants to hang on to power'
CAIRO - Human Rights Watch yesterday criticised Egypt's military rulers for granting themselves sweeping powers, saying this undermined human rights and could keep the army in power.
"The generals' expansion of their authority to detain and try civilians now goes far beyond their powers under Hosni Mubarak," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at the New York-based watchdog.
The military-backed government has given police and intelligence authority to arrest civilians and refer them to military courts, a move seen as an attempt to revive emergency laws that expired last month after three decades.
Army generals, who have been governing Egypt since Mubarak's overthrow, also granted themselves sweeping legislative and executive powers in a controversial constitutional declaration at the weekend.
"These decrees are the latest indication yet that there won't be a meaningful handover to civilian rule on June 30," HRW added in a statement.
Egyptians have protested against the moves, calling on the military to scrap the decrees and expedite the handover of power to a new president.
An election commission has delayed announcing the result of a presidential run-off, which was originally due yesterday, to look into complaints about alleged vote irregularities.
Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi and Mubarak's last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq have claimed victory in Egypt's first free presidential election.