Egypt is set to vote for a new president by the end of the year.
The announcement was made by the ruling military council which has held power since Hosni Mubarak was ousted by a mass uprising in February.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said it would cede legislative powers to a new parliament once it is elected in September. The presidential poll would take place a month or two later.
Egyptians hope their country is now on track for democratic government.
Our correspondent in Cairo, Mohamed Elhamy, said: “Egypt is entering a transitional phase, with preparations for parliamentary and presidential elections a priority for all political parties.”
Less well-known internationally than fellow presidential wannabes Amr Moussa of the Arab League or ex-UN nuclear watchdog boss Mohamed ElBaradei, Hamdeen Sabahi is also set to throw his hat into the ring as election fever starts to spread.
“Today I have provided an outline of my electoral programme. I hope that I will gain the confidence of the Egyptian people,” said Sabahi, leader of the Naciri party.
Constitutional amendments just approved in a referendum may not go as far as some radicals want. But the mere fact people took part in a vote in which the result was not a foregone conclusion is a testimony to Egypt’s transformation.