Dubai: Egypt's military leaders yesterday promised to make changes to the constitution — currently suspended — within the next ten days and put them up for a referendum in two months.
The decision came after activists met with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and discussed reforms.
The move followed fresh calls by the council to end political strikes and protests as hundreds of state employees remained in Tahrir Square yesterday demanding better pay and working conditions.
The military council has set a six-month timetable for holding national elections, but said the cabinet former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak hastily appointed on January 31 — headed by a former airforce commander — would stay on.
"We met the army ... to understand their point of view and lay out our views," Google executive Wael Ghonim and blogger Amr Salama, both of whom helped launch the uprising, said in a note on a pro-democracy website.
Ghonim became an unlikely hero after he tearfully described his 12 days in detention in a televised interview.
Meanwhile, media reports have estimated Mubarak's financial assets to be in the billions of pounds and the British government has come under pressure to freeze his accounts.
Britain has received a request from Egypt to freeze the assets of several former officials, and European Union finance ministers were scheduled to discuss the issue in Brussels later yesterday, foreign minister William Hague said.
"We will, of course, cooperate with this request, working with EU and international partners as we have done in the case of Tunisia," he said.
Exempted from paying fines
WAM reports: Egyptians who are currently in the UAE on visit visas are exempted from paying fines for overstaying in the country due to the current events in Egypt, the Ministry of Interior said.
According to a decision by the ministry, the Egyptians who are now in the country on visit visas will be able to extend their stay in the UAE until the end of the current month, and are waived from paying overstay fines.