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Since 1952, throughout the years and despite various regime changes, the army has been, at all times, the ultimate guarantor of the regime’s continued existence. Its intervention saved the regimes in 1977 and 1986; its support for the head of state in 1971 proved decisive. The prevailing formula since 1952 has been hybrid by nature, defying straight-forward characterisation. On the one hand, the army controls the use of effective force, as well as being, by law, the country’s largest land-owner. State officials cannot even sell or allocate land without its consent. On the other hand, the military obeys the President, the commander in chief of the armed forces, with the power to go to war, appoint and make decisions.
*This paper was presented in the conference "The New Egyptian Constitution.. Experiences and Challenges".