Friday, November 25, 2011

A pivotal day in Egypt?

Friday is often the day of the week in which mass protests are on display in the Arab and Muslim world. And that's certainly expected to be true in Egypt, where the people continue to take to the streets demanding even more political change.

The planned protests today come just days before parliamentary elections that the BBC reports are likely to be overshadowed by what is happening in Cairo and other major cities.
The latest wave of protests, which began a week ago, has led to the worst violence since the fall of President Mubarak. More than 40 people have died.
State media has reported that Egypt's army appointed ex-Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri to form a new government.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) is overseeing a transition to civilian rule following the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak in February.
Despite promises by the council to speed up the process, the protesters fear it intends to cling to power. They want military rule to end before elections are held.
The New York Times adds that the determined nature of the protesters is being met by an equally determined military
As clashes with the security police stopped for the first time this week, the crowd in Tahrir Square grew larger on Thursday than the day before, reaching tens of thousands. A broad spectrum of civilian leaders — excluding the [Muslim] Brotherhood — joined calls for a “million man march” on Friday.
The generals were unmoved. “Egypt is not Tahrir Square,” Maj. Gen. Mukhtar el-Mallah, a member of the military council, declared early Thursday at a news conference. The generals claimed an open-ended mandate to hold power long after Monday’s parliamentary vote. “We will not relinquish power because of a slogan-chanting crowd.”
The declaration, after six days of violent confrontation in the capital and around the country, shifted the political struggle to a new and murkier phase.
The people are not giving in, and the military is not giving up. And there is the key difference between the protests now and from those earlier in the year that brought down Mubarak. Then the military sided with the people. Among the outside groups concerned is Human Rights Watch

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