Egypt protests continue despite authorities’ concessions

November 23rd, 2011 - 11:07 am ICT by IANS  

Cairo, Nov 23 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A televised address by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the chairman of Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), has not changed the mood of tens of thousands of protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Tantawi said in the address that the cabinet’s resignation has been accepted, and pledged that parliamentary elections will be held Nov 28, and presidential elections by the end of June 2012.

“Politics is not for the military. Go back to barracks!” a RIA Novosti correspondent heard a group of young demonstrators chanting as more than 30 people were reported by health officials as dead and nearly 2,000 injured in the most recent protests.

Nine months after the February ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak, Tantawi said the ruling military council is ready to hold a referendum on immediate transfer of power to a civilian administration.

The field marshal said the armed forces are ready “to hand over responsibility immediately, and to return to” their “original mission of protecting the nation if the nation wants that, via a popular referendum, if need be”.

Rallies demanding a speedy transition to democratically elected authorities began Friday and turned violent Saturday. Violent clashes between protestors and police continued throughout the weekend in Cairo and other cities, forcing the country’s entire cabinet to step down Monday.

A day after, fresh violence erupted in Cairo.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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