Thursday, July 14, 2011

Egyptians demand military chief's ouster

Protesters chant slogans as they demonstrate at Liberation square in Cairo Tuesday, July 12, 2011.

Source: Press TV

Thousands of Egyptian protesters in the capital Cairo have called on the country's military chief to step down, urging military rulers to transit power to a democratically elected government.

The protesters on Tuesday demanded the ouster of Hussein Tantawi, who now heads the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), AFP reported.

"The people want the fall of the Field Marshall," chanted demonstrators in Cairo, in reference to Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak's longtime defense minister.

Thousands of protesters have already camped out in major Egyptian squares, including Cairo's Liberation square -- the epicenter of protests that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak-- causing several key government buildings to shut down.

The protesters are also demanding the prosecution of Mubarak and those responsible for killing and wounding people during the country's historic revolution in February.

The demonstrators want military rulers to set a clear timetable for the transition of power to a democratically elected government.

The fresh protests come as Egypt's ruling military junta has freed a number of policemen accused of being involved in the killings. The protesters had set a deadline of July 10th for the government to fulfill their demands but the government has failed to act as expected.

Meanwhile, embattled Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf announced on Monday a government reshuffle within one week, but declined to say which of the ministers he would replace.

Sharaf, who has faced growing pressure from protesters over the slow pace of reforms, said in a recorded address on state television that he would reshuffle his cabinet to fulfill the demands of the people.

“I have ordered a cabinet reshuffle within a week to meet the demands of the revolution and reflect the real will of the people.”

He also set a deadline of July 15 for the dismissal of police officers accused of killing protesters during the revolution.

He has also called for the speedy trial of security force members involved in the killings of nearly 900 people during the days of the revolution.

On Feb. 11, 2011, after 18 days of anti-government demonstrations, Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman announced on TV that President Hosni Mubarak has officially resigned and assigned power to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

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