Tahrir sit-in continues, protesters call for resignation of SCAF, Cabinet

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By Tamim Elyan

CAIRO: Hundreds of protesters continued a sit-in in Tahrir Square for the third consecutive day demanding the resignation of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and Cabinet for “failing to achieve the revolution’s objectives.”

Protesters closed the entrances of the square and the Mugamma’ building (a government administrative complex) and said that they are considering all options, including civil disobedience, until their demands are met.

“The Egyptians participating in the sit-in are suspicious of the SCAF and Essam Sharaf’s Cabinet and reserve their right to use any legitimate means to pressure for their demands including the threat of a general strike and civil disobedience to form a national government that takes its legitimacy from the revolution,” said a statement issued by 130 political parties and movements.

The demands included banning military trials for civilians, dedicating a number of judicial constituencies specifically to handle the martyrs’ cases, holding public trials in the cases of political and economic corruption of the ousted regime; cleansing the Cabinet and state institutions from the ousted regime figures; and banning former members of the disbanded National Democratic Party from political participation for two parliamentary rounds.

They also demanded the appointment of a civilian Interior Minister, the restructuring of the ministry, excluding officers who were involved in torture crimes, preparing a new budget that sets a minimum wage of LE 1,200 as well as a maximum wage. They also called for cancelling the new law regulating the activities of political parties, the People’s Assembly law and the law incriminating protests and sit-ins, which they say contradict the objectives of the revolution.

While not stating it overtly in their printed documents, protesters chanted for the overthrow of the SCAF and the appointment of a new Cabinet.

“We left the square too early and engaged in long negotiations and nothing was achieved on the ground. We used protests instead of sit-ins not to obstruct the economy and were accused of working against the stability of the country but now we are saying that we are the ones who want stability and these sit-ins are the only way to achieve our demands,” said Nasser Abdel Hamid, member of the Coalition of the Youth of the Revolution.

“All laws are issued and then negotiated; we tell the SCAF that we are the ones who are ruling the country not you, we only entrusted the SCAF to protect the revolution but didn’t hand it to them,” he added.

He said that they won’t leave until they see a decision with a time schedule and that Sharaf must be given the powers to change ministers in the Cabinet.

“Sharaf has joined the counter revolution by not submitting his resignation and should be dealt with accordingly,” said Abdel Halim Qandil, ex-coordinator of Kefaya movement for change.

Protesters closed the Mugamma’ building and hanged a sign saying “civil disobedience.”

“We wanted people to see how important they are to the SCAF and to see if they will respond to their demands,” said Bassem Saeed, one of the protesters who closed the building.

He said that some citizens who were going to the Mugamma’ were annoyed by the closure but the employees left quietly.

A number of protesters gathered in front of the nearby People’s Assembly building demanding the opening of the Mugamma’.

According to Saeed, they will open the building on Monday.

Meanwhile, the general prosecution office said in a statement that it is following due process when it comes to the cases of killing protesters and that they have announced the results of each case to the public.

The office published the dates of the trials of the ousted president, Hosni Mubarak, former minster of interior, Habib Al-Adly and other senior police officials at the ministry.

“All cases that were reported to the general prosecution were investigated and referred to the Criminal Court,” the statement read.


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