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February 14th, 2011
05:15 PM ET

Military moves to get Egyptians back to work

CNN Wire Staff

Cairo (CNN) - The military sought Monday to persuade Egyptians to end the demonstrations and strikes that culminated last Friday in the resignation of the president, and urged their countrymen to get back to work.

Though efforts are on track to "realize the legitimate demands of the people for a true democratic environment," widespread strikes and demonstrations continued Monday in certain state sectors, "even though normality has been restored," the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said in a statement.

It cited "negative consequences" of continued unrest, including harming national security, adversely affecting the state's ability to get necessary goods to the public, disrupting production and operations, delaying the nation's return to "day-to-day life," adversely affecting the economy and "creating an atmosphere that gives the opportunity to irresponsible persons to commit illegitimate acts."

Hosni Mubarak's abdication leaves a council of generals, led by Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi, in charge of the Arab world's most populous nation.

Since Friday, the military has dissolved parliament, suspended the constitution and vowed to remain in charge until elections can be held in six months or so. In addition, it has declared a curfew from midnight until 6 a.m.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said it would appoint a committee to propose changes to the constitution, which would then be submitted to voters. The council will have the power to issue new laws during the transition, according to a communique read on state television.

The military now finds itself confronting the economic problems that fueled the revolt, including massive youth unemployment and economic underdevelopment.

Sameh Shoukry, Egypt's ambassador to the United States, said Sunday that the generals have made restoring security and reviving the economy their top priorities.

However, a leading opposition figure said Sunday that the military must explain its plans in more detail or see a resumption of the demonstrations that drove Mubarak from office.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Middle East
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