Egypt military suspends constitution, schedules elections

[JURIST] The Egyptian military announced Sunday that it suspended the constitution [proclamation text] and will run the country until an election is held in six months. The television announcement [NYT report] marked the first time that the military had publicly disclosed its transition plan. The country's civilian cabinet will remain in power throughout the transition period. The military indicated [Al Jazeera report] that it still plans on using a representative panel to amend the constitution [JURIST report]. The proposed changes meet many of the demands made by protesters in Egypt, but the military did not address protesters' demands to lift the emergency laws [text, in Arabic] that have been in place for 30 years. Perhaps partly due to this omission, Egyptians continued to protest in Cairo's main square on Sunday, defying an order by the military [Haaretz report] to disperse.

The military had earlier pledged to lift the emergency laws [JURIST report] that have been in place since former President Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile] assumed power. Prior to Mubarak's resignation, Egypt's government had reached out [JURIST report] to various opposition leaders in the wake of demonstrations that have swept the country. Among those in the opposition that have been approached are the Muslim Brotherhood [official website], the oldest and largest Islamic political group in the world, currently banned from Egypt. According to some commentators, the unrest in Egypt is closely related to the recent civil unrest in Tunisia [JURIST op-ed] that culminated last month with the resignation of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali [JURIST report].

 

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