Egypt opposition sets deadline for army

November 14, 2011 00:54

CAIRO - Egyptian political groups on Sunday gave the ruling generals until Wednesday to withdraw a constitutional proposal that shields the army from oversight in parliament, saying they would otherwise hold an anti-military protest on Friday.

Islamist and liberal parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, said however that the army would still have special status but only in relation to issues of national security.

Earlier this month the cabinet proposed a document of guiding principles for a new constitution that gave the military exclusive authority to approve any legislation on its internal affairs, potentially allowing it to defy an elected government.

But political groups and democracy campaigners objected, fearing that the new parliament will count for little unless the army submits to civilian rule and a future president who will replace Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in a February uprising.

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