Egypt government, opposition agree to push constitutional reform

Sunday, February 6, 2011

CAIRO - The Egypt government and opposition Sunday agreed to push constitutional reform after Vice President Omar Suleiman Sunday held talks with representatives of political parties including the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Government spokesman Magdi Radi said after the meeting that they agreed on “the formation of a committee, which will include the judiciary and a number of political figures, to study and propose constitutional amendments and required legislative amendments, before the first week of March”, Xinhua reported.

Suleiman rejected calls to take over the presidency by opposition leaders during their meeting, a Muslim Brotherhood member who took part in the meeting told Xinhua.

“The meeting, which included most but not all of the groups involved in the 13 days protests that called for the oust of the president, agreed that President Hosni Mubarak should not run for another term after September 2011, ensuring a peaceful transition with free and fair elections,” according to a statement.

The statement published after the committee’s meeting stressed the importance of correcting the parliamentary elections results based on the court’s rulings.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the Wafd party, Tagammu, members of a committee chosen by youth groups, as well as independent political and business figures were present at the meeting.

The opposition groups were also presented by supporters of the National Coalition for Change led by Mohamed ElBaradei, without his presence, who was also active in the past 13 days of massive demonstrations.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she supported the attendance of the Muslim Brotherhood, but would wait and see how the dialogue develop.

At least 5,000 people have been injured since the unrest in Egypt began Jan 25, said Health Minister Ahmed Farid. The UN estimates that more than 300 have died, mainly last week, in clashes with police.

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