Mariam Fam and Maram Mazen
Feb 14, 2011
Egypt’s ruling army council said it aims to hand power to a democratically elected government within six months, after almost three weeks of popular unrest ended 30 years of autocratic rule by President Hosni Mubarak.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces yesterday dissolved parliament, suspended the constitution and said it would rule until general elections take place. The council also formed a committee to introduce constitutional changes, according to a statement read on state television yesterday.
Protesters want the amendments to make it easier to run for president, set term limits on the presidency and cancel the constitutional authority for anti-terrorism measures such as arbitrary arrest, searches and military tribunals. Mass demonstrations forced Mubarak to cede power to the army on Feb. 11, throwing into question the future course of a key U.S. ally.
“It’s a positive sign that they canceled the parliament and suspended the constitution,” Michael Hanna, a fellow at The Century Foundation in New York, said. “I think from here there needs to be one firm timetable set.”