UN chief urges swift power transition

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By Manju Shukla
Date  20 June 2012

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on Egypt’s ruling military junta to swiftly hand over power to a civilian government, a top United Nations official says.

The UN chief believes that the transition to democracy in Egypt should fully meet the legitimate expectations of its people, said the Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco.

“The Secretary-General continues to follow events in Egypt closely,” Fernandez-Taranco said in a briefing to the 15-member UN Security Council.

“He looks forward to the early handover of full authority to a civilian government,” the UN official added.

The UN chief “underscores his concern that the country’s transition should meet the legitimate aspirations of the Egyptian people and of the international community for the establishment of strong, representative, democratic institutions and for the popular will to be respected  both in the elections and in the drafting of a new Constitution,” Fernandez-Taranco said.

The remarks came several days after Egypt’s Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) dissolved the parliament and claimed all legislative powers.

Egypt's main political parties such as Muslim Brotherhood and the April 6 Youth Movement protested against the decision, calling the move a constitutional coup against Egypt’s February 2011 revolution.

Under an interim constitutional declaration released Monday, the generals also took control of the state budget and gave the army veto power on a new constitution, making the president almost powerless.

The measures, taken days before the results of the country’s presidential runoff vote are released, have raised fears that the ruling junta is planning to put its favored candidate at the helm

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