Egypt sets roadmap for power transition

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, February 14, 2011
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The Egyptian army has set the roadmap for a peaceful transition period with real and tangible changes toward the country's new future.

The Supreme Council of Egypt's armed forces said in communique No. 5 on Sunday that they will suspend the constitution, dissolve the parliament and form a committee to draft a new constitution for the country.

The moves have met basic demands of most of the protesters and their organizers after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down on Friday due to failure to quell 18 days of mass demonstrations in Cairo and other places across the country.

The public with their different political affiliations welcomed the army's decision to suspend the constitution, dissolve the parliament and form a panel to amend the country's constitution before submitting the changes to a popular referendum.

"The army's No.5 statement represented noticeable progress. The supreme council of the military forces seems to control the situation now," said Gamal Assad, a former Egyptian parliamentarian and political analyst.

"As long as we reached this unprecedented stage, the parliament should be dissolved and we should elect a new one," he said.

Meanwhile the caretaker government will remain in place for six months of transitional period until elections take place. The government reports should be submitted to the military high commander just as the case with President Mubarak before he stepped down.

However, many analysts believe that six months is not enough.

New parties should be formed, and it should be built upon the integrity and transparency concepts. Six months is a short period to pave the road for fair and free parliamentary polls, said Gamal Zahran of University of Port Said and an ex-parliamentarian.

People's culture concerning the election should change, their criteria for choosing their representative and eliminate the stereotyped principles and relative's bonds should be avoided, Zahran said.

The revolution which ousted Mubarak regime should be prolonged to include changing the corrupted ethics and morals and archaic mentality, said Zahran.

"We need the revolution soul to be transformed into a political real body," Assad said.

Concerns were amounting about military ruling the country after Mubarak tasked the supreme council of military forces under the Defense Minister and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

"The military governance no longer exists after its failure in many counties," said Nabil Zakaria, political analyst, adding that the military role is just to safeguard the execution of people's demands. "There is a major difference between the 1952 revolution and the 2011 one in Egypt with the first one a military coup and the second people's revolution.

The transition to democracy will witness many challenges and difficulties.

Gamal Assad said the essential difficulty is how to unite the Egyptian political powers. The revolution included many groups with different political affiliations and interests.

It is "an organization without a head," said Assad.

Assad added this political mixture is a real challenge to the formation of a new constitution, as each and every category has its own demands. For example, the banned Muslim Brotherhood has been asking for a religious ruling and some others called for left wing principals."

Gamal Zahran also pointed out that "one challenge may be the army itself. Dealing with the army is a high risk task, that is why there should be a demonstration every Friday as a reminder that protests can emerge any time."

Previously people were flooded to be members of the National Democratic Party (NDP), but the party is in danger of collapse now. Its headquarters were burned in many governorates during the protests that hit Egypt since Jan. 25.

The NDP lost its credibility among the Egyptians, analysts said.

"As our revolution calls for democracy, we shouldn't call for dissolving NDP, but I suggest this party create new plans to serve the people's choices," Zahran said.

It's not clear yet the identity of the coming government, as many predicts it will be a coalition one.

However, Assad said a coalition government will cause political struggle.

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