CAIRO – Egypt's military-backed interim president has issued a 7-month timetable for the country's transition after the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, starting with amending the constitution and leading to elections for a new parliament and president by the first months of next year.
The schedule aims to swiftly put in place a new democratically formed government even as the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists continue protests demanding the reinstating of Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, who was removed on June 3 by the military after massive street protests against him.
The following is the timetable for the next steps. The clock started on July 8, the day of the interim president's decree, which cited the maximum period for each step to take place.
Within 15 days, a panel of 10 judges and university professors is appointed to draw up amendments to the Islamist-drafted constitution, which was approved in a referendum under Morsi's administration. The panel has 30 days to do so, meaning its work should be completed around Aug. 22.
The amendments are then put before a larger assembly of 50 members drawn from political parties, professional unions, Al-Azhar Mosque and Christian churches, prominent personalities, and representatives of farmers, workers, intellectuals, the military and the police. Each sector chooses its representatives. At least 10 must be women or young people.
The assembly has 60 days to debate, change and approve the amendments. So its work should be completed around Oct. 21.
The finalized constitution is then put to a referendum, which must take place within 30 days — around Nov. 20.
Once the constitution is approved, the interim president has 15 days to set a date for parliamentary elections. The elections must take place no later than two months after that, around Feb. 3.
Once the newly elected parliament convenes for the first time, the interim president has one week to set a date for presidential elections. The decree does not set a timeframe within which the presidential vote must be held.