Egypt parliament dissolved, constitution suspended
Cairo, Feb 13: In a major move to dismantle the vestiges of the Mubarak era, Egypt's military today dissolved the parliament and suspended the country's constitution, accepting the major demands of the protesters.
The Military Armed Council, that took over the reins of the administration after Hosni Mubarak bowed out under public pressure ending his 30-year reign, said it would stay in power for six months or until the elections are held to determine the next government of Egypt.
It also fixed a September date for elections that will eventually decide the country's next government.
The move to dissolve the parliament, that is comprised mostly of Mubarak loyalists along with the suspension of the constitution meets two major demands of the demonstrators camping at the Tahrir Square since 20 days.
The parliament that was elected last year had a majority of members of the National Democratic Party of Mubarak and was regarded as illegitimate by many people as widespread rigging was believed to have led to the ruling party's overwhelming victory and the opposition's wipeout.
In a communique read out on national television, the military council also announced that it would constitute a panel to amend the constitution to meet the demands of reform by the people, before submitting the changes to a popular referendum.
Today's steps are the first major measures to remove the Mubarak-era relics of power after the erstwhile regime was overturned by a mass uprising.
The caretaker military government had yesterday promised to oversee a peaceful transition to democracy but many protesters had said they wanted to see more concrete measures before they can return to their daily life.
In fact, the Army which tried to clear the Tahrir Square this morning, was met with resistance, with many protesters choosing to stay put until further guarantees from the new leadership.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said that his government's first priority was to restore peace and normalcy to the country which has witnessed dramatic events over the past fortnight.
"Our main concern now as a cabinet is security - we need to bring back a sense of security to the Egyptian citizen," he said.
He said the country's financial position was "solid and cohesive" but cautioned that the present instability should not continue.
Shafiq also pledged to "return rights to the people and fight corruption".
"The first priority for this government is to restore security and to facilitate daily life for its citizens," he told reporters.
The Prime Minister's comments came after the cabinet held its first meeting today after Mubarak's departure from power.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Feb 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Feb 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Feb 2011 00:00:00 IST
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