Egypt army signals willingness to hand over power
CAIRO, May 2 — Egypt’s military might hand over to civilian rule earlier than planned in the unlikely event that this month’s presidential election produces an outright winner, politicians said after meeting generals today.
Few Egyptians expect anyone of the 13 candidates to secure more than 50 per cent support in the May 23-24 vote, which is likely to go to a run-off in June. The army has pledged to hand over power to an elected president by July 1.
Political party leaders met members of the ruling military council hours after 11 people were killed when armed men attacked anti-army protesters near Cairo’s Defence Ministry.
“Now we are studying how to end the violence. Today the military council said it would hand power over on May 24 if there is an outright win in the presidential election,” Ahmed al-Fadali, head of the Democratic Peace Party, told reporters, echoing comments by other politicians after the meeting.
The army’s message appeared intended to cool talk that it might use the unrest as a pretext to delay the vote.
The Muslim Brotherhood boycotted the meeting, which the generals had called to defuse a crisis between the Islamist-dominated parliament and the army-backed government.
Protesters have accused the military of seeking to cling on to power. Even after a formal transfer, the military is likely to retain a broad influence on politics, analysts say. — Reuters