Egypt on the brink of change

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Egypt on the brink of change

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Egypt is entering a new era. Effectively the country is under martial law but the military is implementing a series of major reforms aimed at delivering power into the hands of the people.

In a startment on state television, a military spokesman announced that the constitution has been suspended.

He also said a committee would be established to draft a new constitution, and that parliament has been dissolved.

The army council will stay in power for six months, or at least until the end of elections.

However some continuity has been retained in that the same cabinet appointed by ousted President Hosni Mubarak will oversee the transition. The Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq, says the main priority is to restore security, and the economy.

“Our internal economic position is solid and cohesive”, he said. “We have enough reserves in the coming period and our situation is comforting, very comforting.”

But he also warned that if instability continues, there may be some obstacles.

The stock market has remained closed since the beginning of the uprising, and the Finance Minister says latest forecasts indicate Egypt’s economic growth slowing to between 3.5 and 4 per cent in the coming financial year.

That’s still higher than most western countries but lower than the 6 per cent that had been forecast before the revolution.