Egypt’s military regime has issued
a warning that a wave of strikes sweeping the country was “disastrous”,
as it gave a panel of civilian experts 10 days to revise the constitution.
Against a backdrop on ongoing nationwide
walk-outs and street protests, the junta promised to rapidly restore
constitutional rule following the overthrow of ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak’s
The Supreme Council of the Armed
Forces instructed an eight-strong panel of jurists and scholars to “amend
all articles as it sees fit to guarantee democracy and the integrity of
presidential and parliamentary elections.”
The panel “must finish its
work in a period of no longer than 10 days after the date of this
decision” and must strike down the articles giving presidents unlimited
terms in office and the right to refer cases to military courts.
The military took power on when
Mubarak’s 30-year-reign was brought to an end by an 18-day street revolt.
Since then, Egyptian workers have
begun testing the bounds of their new freedom with strike action.
The military has promised to
oversee a six-month transition to democratic rule.
It urged strikers to return to work
but stopped short of ordering them to do so.
“The Supreme Council is aware of
the economic and social circumstances society is undergoing, but these issues
cannot be resolved before the strikes and sit-ins end,” the state news
agency MENA quoted the military as saying.
“The result of that will be
disastrous,” it added.
The constitutional panel got
straight down to work.