Islamists dominate Tahrir sit-in against SCAF

News article, posted 06.23.2012, from Egypt, in:
Islamists dominate Tahrir sit-in against SCAF (Photo: Al-Masry Al-Youm)

A few thousand people from across Egypt responded to the Muslim Brotherhood’s call for a sit-in and protest in Tahrir Square today, though numbers were low compared to the major protests the epicenter of the revolution has witnessed in its history, and comprised mainly of Islamists, despite calls for a united front with Christians and liberals against the ruling military junta.

The Muslim Brotherhood, its Freedom and Justice Party, the Salafi movement and the Nour Party, are calling for an annulment of the constitutional amendments issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) on 17 June, which limits the authority of the president and tips the balance of power to an unelected body of generals, contrary to the expected handover of power to an elected civilian government at the end of June.

They are also protesting the 14 June dissolution of Parliament, the only elected institution since the 25 January revolution, by a court order that deemed it unconstitutional. Other demands include ending the military's wide powers of arrest of civilians, legalized also on 14 June, and generally ending military rule.

In the square, another major demand is that the Presidential Elections Commission (PEC) announces the winner of the presidential election that finished on 17 June. Both sides have claimed victory with the Muslim Brotherhood and the state-newspaper, Al-Ahram, publishing polling stations’ results that indicate the Islamist candidate Mohamed Morsy has won.

The PEC, however, has said it is looking into appeals of violations submitted by both sides and vote-counting errors. Many suspect it is a delay tactic either to adjust the numbers in favor of old regime ally Ahmed Shafiq or conduct negotiations with the Muslim Brotherhood regarding the balance of power.

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