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Constitution cancelled, early elections called

Egypt’s divisive constitution will be temporarily annulled, and “a committee that will include experts from all classes of people” will be created to draft a new one, the Egyptian Defense Minister said in its long-awaited announcement.

The head of the constitutional court will wield effective power during the interim period, and will “manage state affairs” until new, early presidential elections are called, he said.

The army “calls on the Supreme Constitutional Court to draft rules for new parliamentary elections, and to set up guidelines to achieve objectivity,” noting that youth and state institutions (a reference to the largely secular state bureaucracy) should have a hand in decisions.

“The Egyptian people from all walks of life” must protest peacefully, al-Sissi said, and the army will prosecute anyone who does not use peaceful means, he continued.

“May God protect the Egyptian people,” the army leader said in closing.

Following al-Sissi, other Egyptian leaders were expected to speak.

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