Nov 23 2011

Egypt: April 6 calls for civilian rule, after deadly protests

Following the public protests that began last Saturday and left dozens dead and close to two thousand injured, leaders of Egypt army and the political party sat for negotiations.

The outcome of the meeting was reported on Wednesday by a state-owned news outlet as follows:

An agreement was reached at a meeting on Tuesday 22/11/2011 with Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Lt. General Sami Anan and political powers on accepting the resignation of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and forming a national salvation government achieving revolution targets.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will form a national salvation government, set up a timetable for power transfer, immediate cease of all acts of violence against demonstrators, release of those arrested and treat the victims of recent events on the state’s expense.

Lt. General Anan asserted that SCAF has no intention to stay in power.

He reiterated that SCAF is ready to leave power at any time if there is an agreement among national and popular powers on defusing the current crisis.
He called on all political groups to rally their ranks to stand against any attempt to harm the country’s stability.

Following that, the Head of State and Army Chief Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi gave a public statement.  According to the state media, Field Marshal Tantawi indicated his agreement to the resignation of the PM and Cabinet and a time frame for Presidential elections. Egypt State Information Service reported:Field_Marshal_Mohamed_Hussein_Tantawi

Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the Chief of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces gave a statement yesterday in which he said the SCAF is prepared to hand over power and the army is prepared to go to barracks if the people wished so in a referendum. Tantawi said presidential elections will be held before the end of next June and parliamentary elections will be held in time. He said he has accepted the resignation of the government of Prime Minister Dr. Sharaf and assigned it to continue its assignment until a national salvation government is installed.

Tantawi said the armed forces have no ambition to rule Egypt, adding the SCAF is prepared to hand over power immediately. He said the army did not fire even one shot at any Egyptian citizen.

Tantawi said the armed forces are not a replacement of the legitimacy.
"We have always been committed by our decision since the first days of the January Revolution that we will not open fire at protestors," the chief of the military council reiterated.
Tantawi stressed that the Armed Forces are ready to hand over power immediately if the people want so.
The Armed Forces reject all attempts to tarnish its image, Tantawi said.
"The Military Council of the Armed Forces shoulders the responsibility and does not look to remain in power," he stressed.

However, Field Marshal Tantawi’s speech was rebuffed by the April 6 Youth Movement, which pioneered the February 2010 revolt that led to the ouster former President Hosini Mubarak organizing the youth via social networking sites.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the April 6 movement replied to Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi’s speech with ‘Leave, Tantawi and take the council with you. We do not trust you.’

The movement compared Tantawi’s speech with those of former president Hosni Mubarak’s. The movement also pointed out that the speech carried threats in between the lines.

In reference to Tantawi’s speech, the statement stated: ‘We could not hear your speech because bombs sounds and injury cries were louder than your voice.’

April 6 Youth Movement indicated that the protest will continue until the Army meets the demands, including:
* Immediate announcement of a presidential election date, maximum in April 2012.
* Transferring authority from military council to a presidential civil council.
* Armed Forces’ return to their role as protectors of Egypt.
* Assigning a national salvation council with all the executive powers representing all national forces in order to manage the transitional phase.
* Instant investigation in to Tahrir events and punishing the perpetrators.


Source: Egypt State Information Service and Youm7

Check the Egypt archive for previous and forthcoming posts.