News / Middle East

Activists Say Egypt's Rulers Promise Constitutional Referendum in 2 Months

Military police and soldiers walk among traffic as they clear remaining protesters in Tahir square in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's military rulers dissolved parliament Sunday, suspending the constitution and promising elections in moves cautiously welcomed by pr
Military police and soldiers walk among traffic as they clear remaining protesters in Tahir square in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's military rulers dissolved parliament Sunday, suspending the constitution and promising elections in moves cautiously welcomed by pr

Egyptian pro-democracy activist Wael Ghonim says the country's new military rulers have promised him that a referendum will be held on a revised constitution in two months.

Ghonim and blogger Amr Salama posted a note on their website saying they secured the commitment in talks with the military council that took control of Egypt from President Hosni Mubarak when he resigned last Friday.  They described Sunday's meeting as encouraging.

Ghonim, a Google executive, and other cyber activists played a key role in organizing 18 days of nationwide anti-government protests that forced Mr. Mubarak to step down and hand power to the military after 30 years in power.

The activists say the military council told them that a newly-appointed committee will finish drafting constitutional amendments in 10 days and seek public approval for the new charter in a national referendum in two months.  Egypt's military rulers have not confirmed the timelines.

The military council suspended the constitution and dissolved parliament Sunday, meeting two key demands of pro-democracy protesters who viewed the charter and legislature as tools of Mr. Mubarak's authoritarian rule.

In a statement Sunday, Egypt's military rulers said they will govern for six months or until new presidential and parliamentary elections are held.  The votes are scheduled for September.

The 9-part communique also said Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi will act as effective head of state, representing the country in the transitional period before the elections. Egyptian opposition figure Ayman Nour welcomed the statement, calling it a victory for the revolution that ousted Mr. Mubarak.

In other developments, Egypt's Central Bank says financial institutions will be closed across the country on Monday and Tuesday because of strikes and a religious holiday. Striking bank workers forced authorities to make Monday an unscheduled bank holiday, running into a public observance already set for Tuesday.

Protests, sit-ins and strikes have spread in recent days at a number of Egyptian state-owned institutions, including the stock exchange, textile and steel companies, media organizations, the postal service and railways. Workers have an array of grievances.

An Egyptian military source told the Reuters news agency that the military council plans to ban meetings by labor unions and warn that it will act against "chaos and disorder."  The source said the orders are intended to stifle further disruption and get the country back to work.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid