Egypt’s military rulers dissolve parliament, suspend constitution (Roundup)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cairo, Feb 13 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Egypt’s military leadership Sunday dissolved both the upper and lower houses of the parliament and suspended the constitution.

Earlier Sunday, scuffles broke out between Egyptian soldiers and protesters at Cairo’s Tahrir Square after the military tried to remove activists from the epicentre of Egypt’s uprising, eyewitnesses said.

The military rulers will run the country for six months or until presidential and parliamentary elections are held, the Higher Military Council said in a statement, in which it also announced the dissolving of the parliament.

Defence Minister Hussein Tantawi, who heads the council, will run the domestic affairs of the country and represent Egypt in the international arena, it said.

The council has ordered Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq to stay in office until a new cabinet is formed.

The military leadership said it will abide by all the agreements and international treaties signed by Egypt.

Hundreds of protesters continue to stay put in the square, as organisers say they will not leave until more of their demands, among them the installation of a civilian government, are met.

For 18 days Tahrir Square was the epicentre of the nationwide protests demanding the resignation of president Hosni Mubarak, 82, who ruled Egypt for almost 30 years. Mubarak stepped down Friday and handed the power to the country’s Higher Military Council.

A spontaneous demonstration against Egyptian soldiers, who were trying to force a path for traffic to start flowing through Tahrir Square, broke out Sunday.

“The army is the basis of Egypt. Your objective is not to push us aside, but fulfill our demands. Otherwise, we will return,” the protestors chanted as the military made efforts to disperse them.

The protesters are also demanding lifting of the state of emergency and constitutional amendments.

Over one million people celebrated in Tahrir, or Liberation, square after Mubarak stepped down Friday following 18 days of massive protests across the country.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

Filed under: Politics
will not be displayed