Egyptian Government Makes Concessions
Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman met with opposition groups Sunday and agreed to allow freedom of the press, to release detainees held since the start of protests, and to lift emergency laws when possible.
Vice President Omar Suleiman endorsed a plan with the opposition to set up a committee of judiciary and political figures to study proposed constitutional reforms that would allow more candidates to run for president and impose term limits on the presidency, the state news agency reported. The committee was given until the first week of March to finish the tasks.
The regime also pledged not to harass those participating in anti-government protests, which have drawn hundreds of thousands at the biggest rallies. The government agreed not to hamper freedom of press and not to interfere with text messaging and Internet.
The concessions are meant by the government to stave off demands for President Mubarak’s immediate departure and to ease international opposition.
The agreement to eventually lift emergency laws when security permits would fulfill a longtime demand by the opposition. The laws were imposed by Mubarak when he took office in 1981 and they have been in force ever since. They give police far-reaching powers for detention and suppression of civil and human rights.
The two sides also agreed to set up a committee that includes public and independent figures and specialists and representatives of youth movement to monitor the “honest implementation” of all the new agreements and to report back and give recommendations to Suleiman.Click here for reuse options!
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