14 February 2011
The South African government has welcomed Hosni Mubarak’s resignation as president of Egypt, saying it represented a “victory of the will of the people” and marked the dawn of a new era of democracy in Egypt.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation said that Mubarak’s handover of power to Egypt’s military, following 18 days of mass protests, created the conditions for a transitional process that would pave the way for a democratic dispensation in Egypt.
“We call upon the Egyptian political formations to put in place a transitional authority that will restore stability and prepare for the holding of democratic elections at the earliest possible time,” the department said in a statement on Friday.
It said South Africa remained ready to support the transitional government in Egypt as it prepared to steer the country towards a new course of freedom and democracy.
“We urge the new Egyptian government to maintain a peaceful coexistence with its neighbours and to continue playing a positive and constructive role in the Middle East, with a view to realising the establishment of an independent Palestinian State coexisting side by side with the State of Israel.”
Meanwhile, the Military Council of Egypt’s armed forces announced on Sunday that they would be dissolving the Parliament, suspending the constitution and forming a committee to draft a new constitution for the country.
According to a statement read out on state TV, the caretaker government will remain in place for a six-month interim period.
The Egyptian military had issued a statement on Saturday stating that the current government would temporarily run the country’s affairs until a new government was formed. It also promised a peaceful transition from military regime to a civilian elected government.