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Military ruler fails to placate Cairo crowds

11-24-2011 08:37 BJT

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Egyptian police clashed with anti-government protesters for a fifth day in central Cairo on Wednesday and a human rights group raised the overall death toll from the ongoing unrest to 38 people.

Egypt's army chief has promised to hand over power to a civilian president by July next year. The interim military administration, which has been in control of the country since the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak in February, has also offered a referendum on the immediate end of army rule. But it's not been enough to end five days of protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square -- as Matt Stuttard explains.

Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt’s interim military council, on Tuesday told the nation that the army did not seek, or want power.

Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Chief of Egypt Military Council, said, "The army is ready to go back to barracks immediately, if need be -- if the people wish that through a popular referendum."

Tantawi said parliamentary polls would begin next week, and that a presidential vote would take place next June.

 

 

Egyptian police clashed with anti-government protesters for a fifth day in central Cairo on Wednesday and a human rights group raised the overall death toll from the ongoing unrest to 38 people.

The council has also accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf’s cabinet, to be replaced with what the council calls a government of "national salvation".

The news filtered into Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where tens of thousands were attending a rally - the latest in a string of recent protests against military rule, and the slow pace of reform.

Many demonstrators derided the offer, calling the referendum a stalling tactic.

Egyptian police clashed with anti-government protesters for a fifth day in central Cairo on Wednesday and a human rights group raised the overall death toll from the ongoing unrest to 38 people.

Egyptian Student said, "The statement by Tantawi is a provocation. He’s urging people to oppose the revolutionaries as if they were hoodlums. That’s not true. People were expecting a much stronger reaction than this."

Ihab Wahid, Unemployed Computer Programmer, said, "It’s just false promises, to win some time. There will never be any true reform, because reforms would mean those in charge would be held accountable."

The concessions were agreed in a meeting between the army and politicians, following five days of protests in Cairo and other cities.

Egyptian police clashed with anti-government protesters for a fifth day in central Cairo on Wednesday and a human rights group raised the overall death toll from the ongoing unrest to 38 people.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: CNTV.CN

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