Monday, April 23, 2012

Tens of thousands of Egyptians back at Tahrir to demand army retreat from power

Tens of thousands of Egyptians demanded on Friday that their military rulers stick to a pledge to hand over power by mid-year after a row over who can run in the presidential election raised doubts about the army’s commitment to democracy.

Two leading Islamist candidates, one representing the Muslim Brotherhood who was seen as the frontrunner, were among those disqualified this week from a vote that starts on May 23-24, drawing a storm of criticism from supporters and the candidates.

Khairat al-Shater, the Brotherhood’s former candidate, said his ejection showed the generals who have ruled since Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year had no serious intention of quitting. The movement is now fielding a reserve candidate.

A council of generals, who stepped in 14 months ago after mass demonstrations in Tahrir and elsewhere sapped Mubarak’s power, has led Egypt through a turbulent transition punctuated by spasms of violence and frequent protests against their handling of the move to democracy. Read More