Egypt army to speed up power handover: politicians
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's ruling military council has agreed to form a new government that will run a presidential election to be held before July, bowing to demands by protesters for a swifter transfer of power, politicians who met the army on Tuesday said.
The politicians who attended the discussions in Cairo also said that a parliamentary election, scheduled to start on November 28, would go ahead on time after violence during protests against the ruling military council cast doubt on its timing.
"Presidential elections to be held by the end of June and the final preparations for handing over power by July 1," Emad Abdel Ghafour, head of ultra-conservative Nour (Light) party, told Reuters, adding that he expected the vote on June 20.
Other politicians also said the election would be held by July 1, but did not give a date for the voting.
"We agreed July as the month to transfer power to a civilian president," Abdel Ghafour said - a new head of state would be sworn in some time after the June presidential election, taking over power from the military council.
Abdel Ghafour added: "We agreed to accept the resignation of Essam Sharaf's government and to establish a national salvation government."
Prime Minister Sharaf offered his government's resignation on Monday, but there has been no official announcement about whether it had been accepted - nor precisely how a new government of "national salvation" would be made up.
Abdel Ghafour also said controversial proposals put forward by the outgoing army-backed cabinet that would have would have permanently shielded the military from civilian oversight under a new constitution had been dropped.