Egypt/Unrest: Army announces the lifting of the state of emergency as soon as protests cease

he Egyptian supreme military council issued on Friday a new statement, announcing the lifting of the state of emergency immediately after the cessation of the demonstrations. Moreover, it pledged to protect the organisation of free and open presidential elections in compliance with the reformed constitution. It is worth recalling that Egypt has been under an emergency law that provided extended powers to police forces, suspended constitutional rights and legalized censorship since 1981.

Earlier on Thursday, the supreme council of the armed forces announced it was considering the necessary “measures” to protect the country and “support the legitimate demands of the people”.

Meanwhile, an estimated two millions of protesters gathered in Cairo’sTahrir Square since morning demanding the departure of President Mubarak and as well that of Vice-President Omar Suleiman.  This comes as Mubarak’s speech on Thursday night provoked anger across the population, as he stated his intention to remain in power until the end of his mandate in September and announced  he would delegate some of his powers in favour of the newly-appointed Vice-President.

Meanwhile, clashes between protesters and supporters of Mubarak have been reported outside the presidential palace and demonstrators allegedly tried to besiege the headquarters of the television.