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Egyptian Army Seeking Six-Month Handover

Egypt's military said today it hopes to hand over to an elected government in six months.

The military's statement on the transition, carried by the state news agency, was the clearest sign since President Hosni Mubarak quit last week that army leaders were committed to a swift time frame for fulfilling their promises of elections and democracy.

The military also launched a panel of experts to amend the country's constitution enough to allow democratic elections later this year.

The constitutional panel is to draw up changes within 10 days to end the monopoly that Mubarak's ruling party once held.

Meanwhile, Egypt's long-banned Muslim Brotherhood said today it intends to form a political party once democracy is established.

In Washington, President Barack Obama praised Egypt's military council for working to set the stage for elections and a turnover of the government back to civilian control.