• Published 16:28 13.02.11
  • Latest update 16:28 13.02.11

Egypt's military moves to dissolve parliament, suspend constitution

Statement by Egypt's Armed Forces Supreme Council comes as protesters refuse to evacuate main Cairo square, saying they want to ensure the country's transition to democracy.

By Reuters Tags: Israel news Egypt protest

Egypt's higher military council said on Sunday it will suspend the constitution, dissolve parliament, and form a committee to draft a new constitution for the country.

Egypt protest - AP - 13/2/2011

An Egyptian soldier trying to calm down the crowd as a protester shouts slogans during a demonstration near Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 13, 2011.

Photo by: AP

The statement by Egypt's Armed Forces Supreme Council came as thousands of protesters returned to Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday, defying a request by the country's ruling military to disperse in the wake of President Hosni Mubarak's ouster over the weekend.

Renewed demonstrations resulted in the desire of many Egyptians to ensure that the military would continue the country's transition toward full democracy.

The high command has given no timetable for transition but tried to reassure with a statement on Saturday, underlining a commitment to democracy and international treaties, aimed particularly at Israel with whom it has a peace treaty.

However, in a statement released on Saturday, Egypt's ruling military indicated that it intended to suspend the county's constitution, as well as dissolve its parliament, en route to redrafting the country's constitution by a specially appointed panel.

The army also said that Egypt's Armed Forces Supreme Council would remain in power for 6 months or until after free elections are held.

In the first response to the army's declaration, Egyptian opposition figure Ayman Nour expressed his satisfaction with the move, saying the statement represented a "victory for the revolution."

In another development concerning the country's transition toward democracy, Egypt's prime minister said on Sunday that the military would determine the role of Omar Suleiman, who was appointed vice president by Mubarak.

"The role of Omar Suleiman will be defined by the Higher Military Council," Ahmed Shafiq said.

Suleiman's position has been in doubt since Mubarak resigned on Friday, handing power to the armed forces.

Earlier Saturday, soldiers and protesters reportedly clashed at the epicenter of Egypt's 18-day long demonstrations, with some protesters saying soldiers had detained their leaders as well as more than 30 people who were taken to an army holding area around the Egyptian Museum.

The army had no immediate comment.

The crowd chanted "peacefully, peacefully" to the troops whose mission on the first day of Egypt's working week was to let commuters through to work in an economy badly damaged by the uprising that ended Mubarak's draconian rule.

Tanks and armored cars were positioned around the square where banners still hung demanding regime change and where people crowded around a makeshift memorial for the roughly 300 people killed in the revolt. Volunteers could be seen clearing rubble.


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  • 13. 1 0
    Egypt's military moves to dissolve parliament
    • iztamimi
    • 13.02.11
    • 20:50

    The 5th statement of the Egyptian high military council is indicative of where the military want to take the country. I am not surprised that the leaders of the protesters were not impressed. the other message coming from the statement is that the army it seems did not learn from the stalemate of the past 18 days which leads to expect that the protset will continue. The army has to be careful and should not push its luck too far.

  • 12. 0 0
    Methinks the rejoicing was premature
    • Yonatan
    • 13.02.11
    • 20:44

    There's a long and winding road before Egypt ever achieves any form of democracy. How long did it take France to become a democracy after the 1789 Revolution? Not until 1871, I believe. So don't expect miracles and wonders.

  • 11. 3 7
  • 10. 3 8
    Egypt's military moves
    • jn
    • 13.02.11
    • 18:43

    First the revolutionaries ruin the economy. Then they are getting the military to decide for them. Where is all the logic in this? Have these idiots thought of the consequences?

  • 9. 0 7
    The usual stuff...
    • e l pratt
    • 13.02.11
    • 18:39

    Dissolving Parliament, suspending the constitution, ending the right of assembly, etc. is all the susal stuff of dictatorships and military juntas. Let's see is there is a free election in September or if this is just a masquerade aimed at installing the Muslim Brotherhood as the new Egyptian Government. The more things change, the more they stay the same! This looks more and more like just another military led powergrab to me.

  • 8. 3 6
    Who needs a constitution?
    • Joyce D
    • 13.02.11
    • 18:17

    Israel should be a friend and ally of Eqypt. In the coming weeks the Eqyptian leaders must decide on the type of government they will have. The American/Iraq model is a disaster and must be dismissed outright, along with the failed Lebanon sectarian model. That leaves the Israeli and Turkish systems as the finalists. Turkey and Israel, if invited, should send a team of experts to make a presentation to the temporary coalition of Eqypt. Let as many democratic governments that choose to participate also make presentations. The winning team will help set up the political parties and establish the framework of the new Eqyptian democracy. With Israel helping as a REAL friend and genuinely wanting Egypt to succeed both countries will benefit. The prestiege and goodwill gained from such a cooperative effort would be beyond measure.

    • 8 3
      The Israelis don't have a constitution!
      • BDS
      • 13.02.11
      • 19:27

      The Israelis don't have a constitution! The PR electoral system has given them religious extemists like Shas in the government - and Leiberman!

    • 2 1
      A few things of note
      • Cynical Optimist
      • 13.02.11
      • 20:50

      To Joyce: I wounldn't call the American model an outright failure. The principles of Federalism and checks and balances are, in my mind, very useful, allowing for regional representation and preventing power from gathering in one place. To BDS: Strickly speaking Israel has a constitution, it just isn't codified. As a student of Politics that missconception has always annoyed me

    • 0 0
      Are you serious?
      • Joyce D
      • 13.02.11
      • 21:20

      They haggled for a year. The best minds of America (Paul Bremer Haliburton Execs) produced the quintessential document that would rival the American Constitution, Well The US effort in Nation building is a TOTAL unqualified failure. The first election took six months to figure out that Al Maleki won with a minority and chaos still rules. They still don't have electricity. It took over a year of US involvement to craft a constitution. A trillion dollars wasted. We failed again in Afghanistan and now it looks like we are ready to take over South Sudan and screw them out of their oil. Basic Laws are not a Constitution.

  • 7. 1 0
    The repercussion are already being felt in the region
    • Roukoz
    • 13.02.11
    • 18:02

    Within less than 48 hours of Mubarak's resignation the following has happened: (1) The PA announce elections. (2) Members of the March 14 alliance in Lebanon abandon Hariri and jump on the Mikati bandwagon.

  • 6. 5 1
    Obama plays his $ leverale on Egyptian army.
    • I.K., Israel
    • 13.02.11
    • 17:49

    US moneys have been enough to convince army behave during demonstrations. We'll see if these moneys are enough for forcing Egypt army to dissolve its grip on that country it has for decades.

  • 5. 4 8
    • Yosemite
    • 13.02.11
    • 17:41

    Is this going to be another Tiananmen Square or worse? It's not just Egypt. I don't support anarchy. I don't support wars either. People need food, shelter, a job, and a hobby. I don't need their hobby to be Blame The Jews again or War. Gotta think. I wish there would be a Meditation Revolution. Just people meditating. Getting in touch with Nature or Conciousness. Not focusing on hatred. Maybe it's time to bring in the Dalai Lama? Dunno if China would go along with that. Deepak Chopra perhaps? Dunno. Give each of those Egyptians a bag of popcorn and an Apple Computer. Maybe they'll stay home?

  • 4. 0 6
    • Yosemite
    • 13.02.11
    • 17:41

    Is this going to be another Tiananmen Square or worse? It's not just Egypt. I don't support anarchy. I don't support wars either. People need food, shelter, a job, and a hobby. I don't need their hobby to be Blame The Jews again or War. Gotta think. I wish there would be a Meditation Revolution. Just people meditating. Getting in touch with Nature or Conciousness. Not focusing on hatred. Maybe it's time to bring in the Dalai Lama? Dunno if China would go along with that. Deepak Chopra perhaps? Dunno. Give each of those Egyptians a bag of popcorn and an Apple Computer. Maybe they'll stay home?

  • 3. 4 7
    Military regime is the Egypt's democracy
    • Boruch
    • 13.02.11
    • 17:37

    What the fools!

  • 2. 6 16
    Mubarak's revenge
    • Logios
    • 13.02.11
    • 17:26

    "In case of the vacancy of the Presidential Office or the permanent disability of the President of the Republic, the President of the People's Assembly shall temporarily assume the Presidency...The People's Assembly shall then proclaim the vacancy of the office of President. The President of the Republic shall be chosen within a maximum period of sixty days from the day of the vacancy of the Presidential Office." - Article 84, Egypt's constitution// Transferring power to the military is unconstitutional, and actually amounts to a (bloodless) military coup. It all depends now on the military, as it did when Nasser toppled the Monarchy. How long will military rule last? Not clear since any new arrangements will need to be discussed and agreed to by a large number of groups. Is this the dawn of Democracy in Egypt? I hope so, but military rulers tend not to leave that fast. Mubarak may have arranged a little "surprise" for the people who rejected him, as well as the inept US who insisted he leaves NOW. It would have been a lot safer and better to accept the latest Mubarak move: He remains a figurehead while actual power goes to his VP Suleiman who negotiates with all groups reasonable constitutional amendments, to be enacted by September. That would have kept the Constitution operative. But the self-righteous couldn't think beyond their noses. They may soon miss Mubarak.

    • 17 1
      You need to deal with reality as it is; not as you wish
      • Nabu
      • 13.02.11
      • 18:38

      The "latest Mubarak move" was unsustainable and would have failed. The US would have been extremely foolish to "accept" something that would have backfired on the US

    • 3 1
      Who is being criticized by me, Mr N?
      • Logios
      • 13.02.11
      • 19:19

      The Egyptian crowd , who did not agree to Mubarak remaining as a figurehead are being criticized. Now you call this plan "unsustainable". Hello, that's why I( criticize them. Grow a brain Mr. And not doing something that is not called for does not backfire, normally. Acting wrongly does backfire. Now, before you talk about my "wish", you have to identify one. If you can't, it may be because I have one (or perhaps you just can't figure it out). In any case, using phrases in a meaningless way would strengthen the suspicion of the needed brain. Buy it or grow it by yourself, but you need a better one than you possess.

    • 0 0
      Operative constitution
      • Sami
      • 13.02.11
      • 19:38

      The constitution was honored mostly in the breach. You are focusing too much on the literal and not on they way things really work

    • 0 0
    • 16 1
      Calm down and think -
      • Nabu
      • 13.02.11
      • 20:05

      Of course you are criticizing the Egyptian people (and the US) for not accepting Mubarak's plan. That is the ridiculous argument I am responding to. The Mubarak plan of remaining a figurehead would not have worked - it is wishful thinking on your part. If you urge the Egyptians and the US to accept the plan - then that is something that is being "called for"

    • 6 0
      Ignore Logios Nabu
      • Wendy
      • 13.02.11
      • 20:10

      It is obvious to most of us what you are saying. Logios as usual get all flustered over criticism and doesn't understand. His wish is obviously that the Egyptian people (and the US) had accepted Mubarak's plan - It is pretty evident from what you wrote

    • 0 0
      • Nabu
      • 13.02.11
      • 20:13

      Your wish is that the Egyptian crowd had accepted the Mubarak plan. You also wish that the Mubarak plan had succeeded. That is not reality

    • 8 0
      Poor Nabu
      • Craig
      • 13.02.11
      • 20:17

      I feel sorry for you. You are dealing with Mr Logios. Not only does he have zero foreign policy experience but I'm starting to realize he can't even use the English language in a clear way. And then he whines that people don't understand him

    • 3 0
      Wrong Wendy
      • JN
      • 13.02.11
      • 20:21

      Logios' main wish is not that they had accepted Mubarak's plan - his "wish" is that the PLan would have worked - that's the part that shows he doesn't understand reality

    • 0 0
      Nabu- never use Logios' own "phrases" against him
      • Claire
      • 13.02.11
      • 20:30

      I don't think he remembers what he writes from one day to the next

    • 0 1
      Mr Nabu, Close your euyes for a moment and think...
      • Canadian Observer
      • 13.02.11
      • 20:36

      it over. Logios makes a valid . Mubarak, was as any Arab interested in preserving dignity and avoid humilaition of leaving at the hight of demonstrations. Mubarak promoised not to run in September and anyone who thiks logically would agree that Mubarak was a LAME DUCK President. He is a 83 year man dying of cancer. Hnece is was done politically and the only think he wanted is not to be deposed by a rioting crowds. Yet, the rioting demonstartors persisted in humilaiting him. What did they achieved? A Military Junta is now in power. The head of the Junta is Field Marshal Tantawi... THE MOST CONSERVATIVE MINISTER in Mubaraks Regime, Tantawi opposed liberalization reforms in 1992,,, Get a life, smell your coffee... and you will see that Tantawi will not let go of his now dictatorial powers!!! That is the history of Egyptian rulers as well as Arab and Most Moslem governing regimes except Turkey, Malaysia.m and Indonesia... Mark my word s for it.. wait and see.

    • 1 1
    • 5 0
      Canadian Observer
      • NABU
      • 13.02.11
      • 20:57

      A military junta has been in power for over 30 years. If Sulieman had been the power behind the figurehead he would also have remained in power. He woudn't have negotiated a new constitution, but there is a chance that the riots would have gotten out of control and more radical elements could have ascended to the top.

    • 0 0
      • LEEM
      • 13.02.11
      • 21:02

      IF that were to happen, what makes you think the crowds wouldn't be back on the streets in the millions? Only a fool would believe that nobody would react if a dicatorship was established, and an organized peaceful uprising is called a "revolution" not a "riot". There was no rioting by the ant-Mubarak crowd, only the pro-Mubarak thugs rioted. Look up the word "riot" when you buy yourself a dictionary.

    • 0 0
      What is wishful thinking (Nabu, Wendy, the Crowd of Nudniks)
      • Logios
      • 13.02.11
      • 21:11

      Typically, one wishes for some goal to be achieved (let us call it a strategic goal), and sees events taking place as LEADING to that goal. This is wishful thinking. It is not that any event that one want to happen is the "goal" in and of itself, this is only the tactical goal towards the fulfillment of the strategic wish. I hope the non-thinkers here get it, so there is a use to what I say now. Whether Mubarak's plan would have worked or not, such a Mubarak plan cannot be my strategic goal (i.e. "wish") since I am not a relative of Mubarak and his personal fate is of no concern to me, as far as you should assume. I actually indicated some strategic "wish" in my post, but it will not be evident to you people who cannot thing beyond one step at a time. I came back to the brain idea. Know what you have, and act accordingly.

  • 1. 17 0
    Good step
    • Rammer
    • 13.02.11
    • 17:22

    The best part is that the people are keeping an eye on every move.