News / Africa

Egypt to Form New Government, Military to Transfer Power

Egypt's military rulers have agreed to form a new government and promise to transfer power to a civilian body by July.

Politicians say the agreement was made during a crisis meeting on Tuesday as tens of thousands of Egyptians protested in the streets against continuing military rule.  They say negotiators also agreed to start holding parliamentary elections on November 28, as scheduled, with a goal of holding a presidential election before the end of June 2012.

Word of the agreement was met with scattered displeasure in the crowd that packed Cairo's Tahrir Square. There are continued calls among protesters to see military rule end immediately.

The demonstrations are getting larger, and the calls for the military to step down now - not next year - louder.  Tuesday's crowd is the biggest to mass in Tahrir Square since the unrest began four days ago.  Men, women, young and old, are united in their demand that civilian rule begin now.

"As you can see, not just one type of Egyptian here. All the Egyptian here: Islamic, liberal or communist. Everyone is here. Egyptian and Muslims and Christians. Everyone is here," one protester said.

Some believe the momentum of the unrest, sparked by a proposal that the military rulers prolong their political influence, will speak for itself.

"A lot of the candidates for president or political parties, they are invited for a meeting today to interview the military council.  But they didn't hear [from] the people  We want the military to leave.  It's over.  No one can speak on behalf of the Egyptian people right now," said another protester.

With suspicions high about self-declared representatives of the people, the crowd is turning increasingly angry, not just at the bloodshed, but at fears about what - and who - comes next.

Japhet Weeks' report from Tahrir Square:

Editor and political analyst Rania el Malki says the unity of purpose seen among protesters back in January has been destroyed.

"People are very much aware of their differences and different attitudes and I think no, unfortunately this kind of solidarity is gone.  And over the past nine months I think SCAF has managed to fragment the political street beyond cure," Elmalki said.

Many are keen that elections, set to begin next Monday, will be one way forward.  But not everyone on Tahrir Square is looking toward a democratic solution.

One man sitting in the square pointed with pride to the wounds he had suffered.

"After I take this, and this and this and other places in my body, I feel free.  I hope to be killed here, to find Allah.  That's all," said one protester.

Another protester is quick to point out such fundamentalist beliefs are "not [his] Islam."  He accuses extremists, in particular their politically savvy leaders, of trying to hijack the new protests. "They are now trying to show up, to show the world that they are leading the people and they are against something in the government.  They are not."

But with the SCAF in command, it would appear that to meet protesters' demands they need someone to hand power to, something made more difficult now that the interim civilian leaders are resigning. But editor el Malki doesn't hold out much hope for the army leadership's attempts at engaging the opposition.  

"They are thinking with the mentality of the old Egypt.  The military rulers, the generals are still Mubarak's people and they are behaving towards the Egyptian people as if they are the end all and be all of decisions. They are engaging in a political monologue, that they're refusing to listen to any other version of how the process of the transition to democracy an be managed,"  Elmaki said.

But even if the standoff continues, most on Tahrir square say they want to go ahead with elections and get the representation - whatever it may be - they desperately want.

Photo Gallery

You May Like

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid