Protesters fill the streets near Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Tuesday.
Responding to days of protest and turmoil, once again centered in the mother lode of the Arab Spring, Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Egypt’s ruling military council made an attempt to placate pressure groups by pledging to transfer power to the Egyptian people by June. However, that may be too little, too late for some factions of the opposition who question the council’s intentions when it comes to giving up control. —KA
The New York Times:
The agreement came after the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces met with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups in a session that was boycotted by most other political parties. The deal called for a new constitution and a presidential election no later than next June, as well as a new civilian cabinet to be led by a technocrat prime minister rather than a politician.
Under the agreement, the first round of elections for a national assembly would go ahead as scheduled on Monday, a major goal of the Brotherhood, which stands to win a large share of the seats. But it would also leave the civilian government reporting to the military — effectively a continuation of what amounts to martial law in civilian clothes — until next June.
With the police crackdown galvanizing anger at what protesters see as the military council’s increasingly open play for long-term political power, it was unclear whether any credible civilian leader would take the job of prime minister if the government remained subordinate to the military.