Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tahrir expects new million man protest on Friday in ongoing confrontation with the SCAF

Barbed wire in Mohamed Mahmoud Street at the corner of the old building of the American University in Cairo. The picture of this army barricade was made by Karim Hakiki of France24.   

Update: Al-Jazeera tv reported that  Egypt's ruling military council asked former prime minister Kamal Ganzouri to form a new government. It gave no sources. Ganzouri was Prime Minister from 1996 to 1999 under Mubarak. He ratined a relatively good reputation, but the fact that he served under Mubarak inevitably will draw criticism.

Tahrir Square and surrounding streets are relatively quiet on Tursday after a truce has been reached that became affective as from midnight on Wednesday. Military police has cordoned off the area around the ministry of the Interior, which results in somewhat surrealistic scenery, like the above picture.
The army gave a press conference in which it apologized for the dead - the number stands at 39 at the moment all but four of them in Cairo - and promised compensation for them and for the more than 2000 wounded. Also the army made clear that the parliamentary elections will be held as scheduled, on Monday. (Several political parties and public figures had suggested to postpone them two weeks). Also the SCAF said that it will appoint a new Prime Minister and not a whole new cabinet, as it will be the Prime Minister's task to find the other ministers. And last but not least it made known that SCAF will transfer its power to a civilian authority not earlier than after the presidential elections in the summer of 2012, as otherwise 'it would be a betrayal the trust of the people'.  
 The confrontation between the protesters and the army is therefore far from over. The activists have called for a new million man protest on Friday, which many think, may turn out to be decisive. The protest is dubbed the “Friday of Justice for the Martyrs” and according to the Revolutionary Youth Coalition the main demands are:
- The speedy prosecution of security officers responsible for the death of protesters, regardless of their respective rank and position;
- The appointment of a government of  “national salvation” to manage the country until presidential elections are held;
- The radical reformation of the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, including the dismantling of the infamous Central Security Forces (amn al-merkazi) division.

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