UPDATE 2-Egypt sees vote on constitution changes in 2 months

Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:07pm GMT

* Military briefs youth activists on timetable for change

* Council members see vote on constitution in two months

* Military encourages young people to form political parties

(Recasts, background)

By Marwa Awad and Andrew Hammond

CAIRO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Egypt's ruling Higher Military Council hopes constitutional amendments can be drafted soon and put to a referendum within two months, paving the way for elections, council members have told youth activists.

Wael Ghonim said on his Facebook page that he and seven other activists involved in protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak last week met two members of the council on Sunday evening.

It was the first contact between the military council and the young pro-democracy campaigners, showing that the generals realise that those behind the revolt cannot be circumvented.

Ghonim, a Google executive who was detained for two weeks during the protests, confirmed to Reuters the contents of the meeting that he published on social networking site Facebook. "A constitutional committee known for integrity, honour and not belonging to any political trends has been formed to finish constitutional amendments in the space of 10 days and and they will be put to a referendum within two months," said the Facebook page, called "We are all Khaled Said".   Continued...

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