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Egypt's military outlines timetable to hand over power

02-16-2011 15:34 BJT

CAIRO, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said Tuesday it hopes to end its mission and transfer power in the next six months to a civilian authority and a president elected in free and fair elections that truly reflect the will of the people, the state news agency MENA reported.

A woman reads a piece of newspaper at the Tahrir Square in Cairo, capital
of Egypt, Feb. 12, 2011. Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said
Tuesday it hopes to end its mission and transfer power in the next six months
to a civilian authority and a president elected in free and fair elections
that truly reflect the will of the people, the state news agency MENA
reported. (Xinhua/Jin Liangkuai)

"The council affirmed that it is not seeking power, the current situation was imposed on the armed forces and that they will not betray people's trust," it said in a statement.

The Supreme Council on Tuesday also set a period of 10 days for the constitutional amendment committee to finish its task.

The military council formed the committee Tuesday in the presence of Minister of Defense and Head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and Sami Anan, chief-of-staff of the armed forces.

The committee will be chaired by Tareq el-Beshry, a respected former head of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court.

Members of the committee include three constitutional experts and three judges, as well as a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's prominent opposition group which is officially banned.

El-Beshry said the committee, which doesn't have a working mechanism yet, was appointed to amend the constitution in a way that will help maintain the nation's sovereignty and prompt democracy.

Tantawi urged the committee to finish its task on time to alleviate the anger of the protesters and make them feel secure regarding the army's credibility.

The Supreme Council announced Sunday in communique No. 5 that they will suspend the constitution, dissolve the parliament, and form a panel to draft a new constitution for the country before submitting it to a popular referendum.

Egypt's army has also pledged to lift a state of emergency in place throughout Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule. But it has yet to say when this will happen.


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