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Top Egyptian general calls for constitution before handing over power to civilian rule

Cairo, Mon, 16 Apr 2012 ANI

Cairo, Apr 16 (ANI): A top Egyptian general has urged the country's political parties to finish work on the Constitution that will map out the nation's post-revolutionary future before handing over power to civilians later this year.

Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which acts as Egypt's de facto presidency, met with a group of diverse political leaders on Sunday to try to expedite the process of forming a new Constitution.

Political leaders with knowledge of the meeting revealed that Field Marshal Tantawi encouraged Islamist and liberal political parties to finish the document before June 30, the day military rulers are supposed to hand over power to an elected president, The Washington Post reports.

The document will create a new political paradigm by delineating the powers of parliament and the president, as well as determining the status of minorities and the role of Islam in the Muslim dominant nation as it emerges from nearly three decades of autocratic rule.he efforts to formulate the new document, however, have been stalled by a series of hurdles as the country's political scene turned increasingly chaotic, just weeks before the first presidential election since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown last year.

According to the paper, critics of the military rulers have expressed fear that their new urgency is aimed at guaranteeing their continued influence and protecting their vast economic interests when a civilian leader takes over. (ANI)

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