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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs