Egyptians concerned about plot to hijack revolution

February 14, 2011

CAIRO/TEHRAN – Egypt’s people power movement forced out an arrogant pharaoh, who had ruled the country for the last thirty years with the help of the United States, other Western powers, and Israel, but now it seems that new dangers are arising.

The Egyptians may be chanting that their country is free, but their struggle is far from over since some lackeys of the USA and Israel in the Egyptian establishment are already making efforts to hijack the historic revolution.
The Egyptian military is now officially in control of Egypt and the counter-revolution is unfolding. So a new phase of the liberation struggle has started.
On Sunday, protesters again took to the streets across the country and thronged Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square as the new military rulers announced that they would stay in power for six months, when they say elections will be held.
The military rulers also dissolved parliament and suspended the constitution on Sunday.
The protesters want all their demands met, including the transition of power from the military to a civilian, democratic government.
On Sunday, clashes broke out between the army and the protesters as troops tried to disperse thousands of demonstrators in Tahrir Square, a Press TV correspondent reported.
The wave of demonstrations in and around the square is showing no sign of stopping, with hundreds of thousands of protesters continuing to gather in the square.
Soldiers shoved pro-democracy protesters aside to force a path for traffic to start flowing through the square for the first time in more than two weeks.
Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Cairo said the confrontation between troops and protesters was something of a “flashpoint”.
“I think it reflects a bigger problem, that the military believes that now (that) Mubarak is out, it’s time for stability,” he said.
“But some of the protesters think not enough has been done yet. They don’t want to clear that square until the army has handed (power) over to a civilian government,” he added.
The military junta that took over when Mubarak stepped down on Friday and the caretaker government also set as a top priority the restoration of security, AP reported.
The protesters had been pressing the ruling military council, led by Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi, to immediately move forward with the transition process by appointing a presidential council, dissolving the parliament, and releasing detainees.
“They have definitely started to offer us what we wanted,” said activist Sally Touma, reflecting a mix of caution and optimism among protesters who want to see even more change, including repeal of the repressive emergency law.
Judge Hisham Bastawisi, a reformist judge, said the actions “should open the door for free formation of political parties and open the way for any Egyptian to run (in) the presidential election.”
Hossam Bahgat, the director of the non-governmental organization the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said the military’s steps were positive but warned that Egypt was on uncharted legal ground.
“In the absence of a constitution, we have entered a sort of ‘twilight zone’ in terms of rules, so we are concerned,” he said. “We are clearly monitoring the situation and will attempt to influence the transitional phase so as to respect human rights.”
The military ruling council also said it was forming a committee to amend the constitution and devise the rules for a popular referendum to endorse the amendments.
Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from Cairo, said the two announcements do not indicate that the prime minister and military council are talking against each other.
But it is “quite clear that the power now rests entirely” with the military council, he said.
“They’ve taken on the role of the presidency and the prime minister and the other ministers carry out their orders. The key point is the military is saying they are only in power for a temporary basis, for six months or they’ll go earlier if elections are called before six months,” he added.
But Al Jazeera’s correspondent noted that the “one thing that wasn’t in that communique that protesters have asked for was the repeal of emergency laws.”
Protest organizers had called for both the dissolution of parliament and the lifting of a 30-year-old state of emergency.