Egypt army unveils transitional constitution


Cairo : Egypt’s military unveiled an interim constitution Wednesday, in the wake of the ousting of president Hosni Mubarak, outlining the government’s powers and replacing the country’s 1971 constitution.

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The declaration from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces asserts that Egypt is a democratic country and ensures freedom of religion and opinion, spokesperson Mamdouh Shahin said in a press conference.

Parliamentary elections will be held within six months of the announcement of the constitutional referendum’s results, which took place March 20, Shahin said.

Parliament will then create an entirely new constitution, he said.

Shahin confirmed that the controversial emergency law, in place for nearly three decades, will be removed ahead of the parliamentary elections which are expected to take place in September.

The council did not announce a schedule for presidential elections.

The declaration included articles stipulating that the president, once elected, will assume command of the armed forces. The president will also be required to appoint a deputy within 60 days.

The council consulted with judicial experts on the constitutional declaration, Shahin said.

This comes after Egyptians voted in a nationwide referendum for constitutional changes laying the groundwork for elections and the drafting of a new constitution.

The country’s military rulers, who also outlined new procedures for the formation of political parties, have been in charge of the country since protests led to the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak last month.