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News Analysis: How does Egypt fare after Mubarak?

02-12-2011 17:13 BJT

CAIRO, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Egyptians will brace for uncertain future in the short term with the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak on Friday after 18 days of nationwide mass protests against his 30-year-long rule.

The country's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, headed by Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Tantawi, was charged with the governance of the nation.

The council spokesman asserted on Friday that the army respected the legitimacy demanded by people during their protests and would issue a statement of the proposed plans and directives to be taken.

Egypt will soon embark on a transitional period with various tasks, including the constitutional amendments and the presidential polls scheduled for September, which had been pledged by Mubarak in his televised speech.

"Egypt will continue the transition period in which a civil government will be formed under the supervision of the army," Abdallah Mashal, a former senior Egyptian diplomat, told Xinhua.

A new constitution will be set to pave the way for free and fair elections, he added.

The military will not rule Egypt as it has vowed to respect the legitimacy acceptable to the people, said the analyst.

"Mubarak's resignation means the fall of the whole regime," said Gamal Zahran, chairman of the political science department at University of Port Said and an ex-parliamentarian.

"Accordingly, the constitution is to be cancelled and the parliament and the government are to be dissolved," he said in a phone interview with Xinhua.

Zahran called on the army to form a "presidential council" composed of four civilians and one from the military forces, to form a technocratic government with no affiliation to any party.

The army won't rule the country and its only mission is just to supervise the transitional period, said the analyst.

On Saturday morning, hundreds of people gathered in the Tahrir (Liberation) Square, the epicenter of the mass protests. They waved national flags in high spirits, danced and chanted to observe the historical occasion in their life.

Some protestors said they would not leave until the military announced moves to be taken for the coming period.

"They will stay to make sure that the army keeps their promises, " said Zahran.

Thus, the military faces an urgent task of restoring order, normalcy of government work and asking protestors to go back to work.

OPPOSITION GROUPS' EXPECTATIONS

Opposition groups have met their basic demand, the immediate stepping down of Mubarak. But in the following days, it is unclear whether they will have new demands.


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