Egypt parliament dissolved, constitution suspended

Written by: Pti
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Cairo, Feb 13 (PTI) In a major move to dismantle thevestiges of the Mubarak era, Egypt''s military today dissolvedthe parliament and suspended the country''s constitution,accepting the major demands of the protesters.

The Supreme Military Council, that took over the reinsof the administration after Hosni Mubarak bowed out underpublic pressure ending his 30-year reign, said it would stayin power for six months or until the elections are held todetermine the next government of Egypt.

It also fixed a September date for elections that willeventually decide the country''s next government.

The move to dissolve the parliament, that is comprisedmostly of Mubarak loyalists along with the suspension of theconstitution meets two major demands of the demonstratorscamping at the Tahrir Square since 20 days.

The parliament that was elected last year had amajority of members of the National Democratic Party ofMubarak and was regarded as illegitimate by many people aswidespread rigging was believed to have led to the rulingparty''s overwhelming victory and the opposition''s wipe out.

In a communique read out on national television, themilitary council also announced that it would constitute apanel to amend the constitution to meet the demands of reformby the people, before submitting the changes to a popularreferendum.

Today''s steps are the first major measures to removethe Mubarak-era relics of power after the erstwhile regime wasoverturned by a mass uprising.

The caretaker military government had yesterdaypromised to oversee a peaceful transition to democracy butmany protesters had said they wanted to see more concretemeasures before they can return to their daily life.

In fact, the Army which tried to clear the TahrirSquare this morning, was met with resistance, with manyprotesters choosing to stay put until further guarantees fromthe new leadership.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said that hisgovernment''s first priority was to restore peace and normalcyto the country which has witnessed dramatic events over thepast fortnight.

"Our main concern now as a cabinet is security - weneed to bring back a sense of security to the Egyptiancitizen," he said.

He said the country''s financial position was "solidand cohesive" but cautioned that the present instabilityshould not continue. Shafiq also pledged to "return rights tothe people and fight corruption".

The Prime Minister''s comments came after the cabinetheld its first meeting after Mubarak''s departure from power.

He also said that the former President is still in inthe Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, amid contradictoryreports about his whereabouts. .

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