Civilian Government Offers to Resign In Egypt
Egyptian protests entered on Tuesday a fourth day after 100,000 people sat in the Tahrir Square over night, after three days of clashes that left 26 people dead. The new surge of public anger placed upcoming elections into question, fueling the concerns of those who believe that the military rulers want to cling to power. On Monday night the government of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces offered to resign in hopes of containing the situation this way. The military council was reported holding talks on Tuesday with the political leaders.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the most important political force in Egypt, participates in the negotiations, refusing to take part in the protests on Tuesday. Muslim Brotherhoods wants the elections to go on as scheduled, and their refuse to participate in the demonstration could cause the number of participants to fall short of the number of protesters that led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.
Protesters gathered in the iconic square of Cairo, the symbol of the revolution in January and February, threw stones at the riot police, which responded with batons and tear gas. Health Ministry, on Monday, said that at least 22 people had been killed over the first three days of protests.
The protests extended to other cities of Egypt, and in Ismailia, on the Suez Channel, police had to deal with 4,000 people who were protesting.
On Monday night the civilian government led by Prime Minister Essam Sharaf offered to resign, but the resignation has not been accepted yet by the military rulers, a military source said.
It is believed that the resignation of the government creates a new set of problems for the ruling power of the military, because the military managed to diminish the importance of the civil government, by interfering with the decision making process.
A new government would require more power, which would not be too convenient for the military rulers. The military council expressed their sorrow for the violence over the past few days and called for self-restraint.
In a report published on Tuesday Amnesty International said that the military rulers in Egypt have failed to live up to the expectations and the promise made to the Egyptians to improve human rights observance.
Amnesty accuses the Egyptian military of having carried out most of the tactics of the former regime in cracking down on the protesters.
The protests in Egypt were sparked by the decision of the military to release a draft in which they were setting the guidelines for the new constitution, exempting the military and its budget from the control of the elected institutions of the state.
This document forced the people to reignite the fire of protest, demanding the resignation of Field Marshal Hussain Tantawi, the leader of the country, who is thought to intent to run for the president in the new elections the military is attempting to postpone until after 2012.
The people participating in the protests want the presidential elections to be organized immediately after the general elections, whose first round of six will begin on November 28.11