Egypt’s next transition steps this week, says source

Egypt's ruling military council will announce a constitutional decree within the next two days that will chart the path towards elections and civilian rule, a security source said on Tuesday.

The decree will set a timeframe for parliamentary elections, expected in September of this year, and the presidential polls that will follow them, the source said.

"The constitutional decree will set a roadmap for the steps ahead with a timetable for elections and the laws to be passed to implement the constitutional amendments," the security source said.

The constitutional amendments were approved at the weekend in a referendum that drew more than 18 million Egyptians to the polls. Of those, 77 percent approved the reforms.

The decree will act as a temporary constitution that will remain in force until a new constitution is drawn up after the new parliament convenes.

The military, to which President Hosni Mubarak handed power after he stepped down on 11 February, has said it will also lift restrictions on forming political parties after the referendum to help reinvigorate political life.

The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group, is expected to announce the formation of its "Freedom and Justice Party" once the restrictions are lifted. A plethora of other parties are also expected to emerge.

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