Egypt’s Military Dissolves Parliament; Calls for Vote
Published: February 13, 2011
CAIRO — The Egyptian military consolidated its control Sunday over what it has called a democratic transition from three decades of President Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian rule, dissolving the country’s feeble parliament, suspending the constitution and calling for elections in six months in sweeping steps that echoed protesters’ demands.
The statement by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, read on television, effectively put Egypt under direct military authority, thrusting the country into territory uncharted since republican Egypt was founded in 1952. Though enjoying popular support, the military must now cope with the formidable task of negotiating a post-revolutionary landscape still basking in the glow of Mr. Mubarak’s fall but beset by demands to ameliorate hardships that percolated across Cairo on Sunday.
Since seizing power from Mr. Mubarak on Friday, the military has sought to strike the right note, responding in words and action to the platform articulated by hundreds of thousands in Tahrir Square. But beyond more protests, there is almost no check on the sweep of military rule, and while opposition leaders welcomed the moves some have quietly raised worries about the role of the army in Egypt’s future.
But others were more optimistic. Ayman Nour, who lost to Mr. Mubarak in the 2005 election, said that the military’s actions should be enough to satisfy the protesters, some of whom nevertheless refused to leave Tahrir Square and resisted soldiers’ attempts to evict them.