Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Egyptian protesters reject military's timetable for elections

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gather in Tahrir Square to demand immediate exit of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi

Ian Black, Middle East editor, and Jack Shenker in Cairo
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 22 November 2011

"Egypt's revolution was plunged into fresh uncertainty after hundreds of thousands of angry demonstrators rejected a promise by the country's military council on Tuesday to accelerate the transition to civilian rule.

In an extraordinary display of people power, protesters at a mass rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square demanded the immediate departure of Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf), just as they had demanded President Hosni Mubarak's humiliating exit in February.

"We are not leaving, he leaves," the crowd chanted....

Opposition leaders said after talks with Scaf earlier that the military's position was inadequate. "Our demands are clear. We want the military council to step down and hand over authority to a national salvation government with full authority," said Khaled El-Sayed, a member of the Youth Revolution Coalition and a candidate in the parliamentary election.

The commander of the military police and the interior minister, who is in charge of the police, must be tried for the "horrific crimes" of the past few days, he added.

The pace of events caught western governments on the hop, unsure whether to go beyond demands for an end to the violence, to call for the imminent elections to be postponed, or, more ambitiously, for the Scaf to surrender power....."

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