Cairo: Hundreds of protesters on Friday gathered
at the iconic Tahrir Square in the capital to step up pressure
on Egypt`s military ruler to speed up the transfer of
political power to civilians and end emergency laws in the
The protest dubbed, `Return to the Barracks Friday", has
been endorsed by several coalition, movements and political
parties aimed at forcing the Supreme Council of the Armed
Forces (SCAF), which governs Egypt after the ouster of Hosni
Mubarak, to hand over power to a civilian government, state-
owned Ahram Online reported today.
The frustrated protesters want the SCAF to hand over
power and provide a clear roadmap for a quicker transition
than was previously proposed.
They also want an end to the expansion of the Mubarak-era
emergency laws and their use in military trials for civilians.
The report said two massive stages have been set up in
Tahrir Square in preparation for mass protests initiated by
several of Egypt?s political movements.
However, the Muslim Brotherhood movement and their
Freedom and Justice Party has rejected invitations to take
part in the protest in the capital, the report said.
Thousands of Egyptians gathered at the square yesterday
and chanted slogans for transfer of power to a civil
Even though Egypt`s Parliamentary polls takes place over
a period of four months, beginning on November 28, no date has
been set for the crucial presidential elections.
There has been mounting speculation that the military was
planing to put up a candidate amid growing public appearances
by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the powerful defence
minister of former President Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in
a 18-day mass protest in February.
However, Tantawi has rejected such "rumours". "The armed
forces have no interest in staying for a long time," he was
quoted as saying by MENA.
83-year-old Mubarak is facing charges of killing peaceful
protesters during the protest which toppled him after thirty
years in power.