Egypt’s military council on Sunday dissolved the parliament ruled by former president Hosni Mubarak and suspended the constitution temporarily for six months or until parliamentary and presidential elections are over.

In a communiqué, the council also dissolved the lower and upper houses of parliament, which were formed after the 2010 November elections while announcing formation of a panel to amend Egypt constitution before submitting the changes to a popular referendum.

A caretaker government has been put in place for a six-month period until elections are held, which will report to the military high command.

Mubarak’s defense minister Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi will now be de facto head of state representing Egypt in the international arena, while state agency reported that the military council will decide the future and position of Mubarak-appointed vice-president Omar Suleiman .

Meanwhile, caretaker prime minister Ahmed Shafiq said his cabinet’s main priority will be to restore security in the country.

The first priority of this government is to restore security and to facilitate daily life for its citizens. I guarantee that this cabinet will return rights to the people and fight the corruption,” said Shafiq in a televised press conference.

Meanwhile, in downtown Cairo’s Tahrir Square protesters are split over whether to leave the square even as some Egyptians continued to celebrate victory although many left the square. A large number of protesters refused to move until their demands are met.

Salary raise, release of detained family members and dissolution of parliament were some of the demands listed by protesters who refused to leave the square.

Some policemen of the lower rank also demanded pay hikes, allowances, equal treatment and public execution of former interior minister Habib al-Adly outside the ministry.

Artifacts stolen

Meanwhile, several priceless artifact collections, including a gilded wood statue of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Tutankhamun being carried by a goddess, and parts of another gilded wood statue of the king, were stolen at The Egyptian Museum during a break-in on January 28.,

The investigation into the missing artifacts has already been launched, said Hawass, minister of state for antiquities.