Military Dissolves Parliament, Suspends Constitution

The Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces [SCAF] announced, in Communique No. 5, the dissolution of the parliament and the suspension of the constitution. The announcement additionally indicated that the SCAF would stay in power and rule by decree until new elections were held. The military authority also called for an end to the strikes that had expanded rapidly in recent days. The 30-year-old official state of emergency in the country was not suspended, however, leaving a chief demand of protesters unfulfilled.

The SCAF also insisted that protesters in Tahrir Square and elsewhere in the country return home. While a large number of protesters complied, some refused, indicating that “they would remain until the army took a series of steps toward democratic reform, including installing a civilian led government and abolishing the repressive state of emergency.” Representatives of the protesters held meetings with the SCAF today in order to build confidence between the two groups, with participants Wael Ghonim and Amr Salama indicating that the discussions were “encouraging.”